• Sitka Local Foods Network to host March 26 meeting to discuss Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center

Sitka residents interested in building a Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center pose with Shane Smith of the Cheyenne, Wyo., Botanic Gardens (front row, second from right) after he spoke at a March 12, 2013, meeting about the greenhouse.

Sitka residents interested in building a Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center pose with Shane Smith of the Cheyenne, Wyo., Botanic Gardens (front row, second from right) after he spoke at a March 12, 2013, meeting about the greenhouse.

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host a meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, at Harrigan Centennial Hall to continue discussions about creating a Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center.

The construction of a community greenhouse will help Sitka increase its access to fresh, locally grown produce all year round. The greenhouse also will serve as an education center, helping local residents learn about what it takes to grow fruits and veggies in Sitka, Alaska. This was a Sitka Health Summit project from 2008 that recently regained momentum.

The group currently is looking to build a 30-foot-by-52-foot greenhouse, possibly at the Sheldon Jackson Campus near the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center. Other locations are being considered, but this has been the best potential offer of a site since the start of the project. To learn more, contact Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.

• Sitka Local Foods Network to host March 12 meeting to discuss Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center

Shane-SmithAre you interested in helping Sitka increase its access to fresh, locally grown produce all year round? The Sitka Local Foods Network will host a gathering from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, at Harrigan Centennial Hall to discuss plans for the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center.

Building a community greenhouse and education center was a community wellness goal from the 2008 Sitka Health Summit, but over the years there were a few problems (usually with securing land) bringing the project to fruition. It now appears the Sitka Fine Arts Camp will allow us to build a 30-foot–by-52-foot greenhouse on the Sheldon Jackson Campus, next to the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center. This is the closest we’ve come to being able to start building a greenhouse.

In addition to the availability of land, we have been offered locally harvested wood to build the greenhouse frame, which will be modeled after another successful greenhouse built near Sitka in 2011.

Please join us on Tuesday to learn more about this exciting project. In addition, Shane Smith, the executive director and founder of the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Botanic Gardens and author of the Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion, will be at the meeting to provide advice based on his experiences building a similar project. Shane Smith also will give a presentation on greenhouses and high tunnels from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus Room 229, and he’ll have a booth at the Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St.

“The Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center would be a tremendous asset to our town and we’ve never been closer to making that dream become a reality,” Sitka Local Foods Network President Kerry MacLane said.  “Having Shane’s expertise and guidance to draw from just puts us that much closer to making this happen this year.”

For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.