• State grants available for summer ‘Chef at the Market’ program at 2015 local farmers markets

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

The state’s Chef at the Market program is accepting grant applications from Alaska chefs interested in providing demonstrations at local farmers markets between May and September this year.

The Chef at the Market program began in 2011 to promote fresh Alaska Grown specialty crops and teach Alaskans new ways to prepare them. The program has also provided a new opportunity for chefs to develop relationships with the local food vendors who supply restaurants and with Alaskans interested in cooking Alaska Grown at home.

In the summer of 2013, six Alaska chefs performed a total of 27 demonstrations at nine local farmers markets and special events. In 2014 there were 39 demonstrations at nine local farmers markets around the state. In addition to hosting demonstrations at the local farmers markets, chefs prepare recipes and other information about how to use the local produce they highlighted each week.

The Sitka Farmers Market hasn’t had a Chef at the Market since 2012, when Suzan Brawnlyn hosted four Chef at the Market presentations. We weren’t able to host a chef in 2013 because the kitchen was closed due to construction at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, and no Sitka chefs applied in 2014. The ANB Hall construction is finished and the kitchen is open again, so Sitka chefs are encouraged to apply for 2015.

The Chef at the Market program is part of the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant administered by the Alaska Division of Agriculture, so it will have 2015 funding (despite budget cuts to other state-run programs). To apply for a 2015 summer program grant, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/ag_grants.htm or download the application at http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/Grants/2015CATMRFP.pdf. Grant applications are due on Tuesday, March 31.

To find out more information about the Chef at the Market grants and demonstrations, contact Jacquelyn Schade at jacquelyn.schade@alaska.gov or 907-761-3858.

• State grants available for summer ‘Chef at the Market’ program at local farmers markets

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

The state’s Chef at the Market program is accepting grant applications from Alaska chefs interested in providing demonstrations at local farmers markets between May and September this year, according to a press release in the Juneau Empire.

The Chef at the Market program began in 2011 to promote fresh Alaska Grown specialty crops and teach Alaskans new ways to prepare them. The program has also provided a new opportunity for chefs to develop relationships with the local food vendors who supply restaurants and with Alaskans interested in cooking Alaska Grown at home.

In the summer of 2013, six Alaska chefs performed a total of 27 demonstrations at nine local farmers markets and special events.

Suzan Brawnlyn hosted four Chef at the Market presentations during the 2012 Sitka Farmers Market season, but wasn’t able to renew her grant last year because the kitchen was closed due to construction at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in 2013. The construction is finished and the kitchen is open again, so Sitka chefs are encouraged to apply for 2014. In addition to hosting demonstrations at the Sitka Farmers Market, Suzan prepared recipes and other information about how to use the local produce she highlighted each week.

To apply for a 2014 summer program grant, go to
http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/ag_grants.htm. Grant applications are due on Wednesday, April 30.

To find out more information about Chef at the Market demonstrations, contact Jacquelyn Schade at jacquelyn.schade@alaska.gov or 907-761-3858.

• Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, provides her recipes from the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of 2012

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, discusses how to cook Egyptian walking onions during a cooking demonstration on Aug. 18, 2012, at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, discusses how to cook Egyptian walking onions during a cooking demonstration on Aug. 18, 2012, at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

This year, the Sitka Local Foods Network is happy to feature local chef Suzan Brawnlyn as its “Chef at the Market.” Suzan received a grant to provide cooking demonstrations at at least four of our six markets this year.

Suzan also has been making her recipes available so people can try them at home. Her recipes from the fourth market on Aug. 18 are posted below. Her featured herb was the Egyptian walking onion, and her featured vegetables were “The Greens” (chard, kale, beet, spinach and collards).

The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).The Sitka Local Foods Network is seeking volunteers to help set up tables and tents before the market starts, and to tear down and pack up the market after it ends. We need volunteers for  the two remaining markets (Sept. 1 and 15). If you have a strong back and helping hands, please contact Johanna Willingham at 738-8336 for more details.

• Chef at the Market recipes from the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season, Aug. 18, 2012

• Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, provides her recipes from the second Sitka Farmers Market

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, holds a sample cup of honey miso-glazed black cod with broccoli and bok choy stir fry during a cooking demonstration on July 21, 2012, at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

This year, the Sitka Local Foods Network is happy to feature local chef Suzan Brawnlyn as its “Chef at the Market.” Suzan received a grant to provide cooking demonstrations at at least four of our six markets this year. Suzan also has been making her recipes available so people can try them at home. Her recipes from the second market on July 21 are posted below. To get her first batch of recipes, click this link.

The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).The Sitka Local Foods Network is seeking volunteers to help set up tables and tents before the market starts, and to tear down and pack up the market after it ends. We need volunteers for all of the remaining markets (Aug. 4, 18, Sept. 1 and 15). If you have a strong back and helping hands, please contact Johanna Willingham at 738-8336 for more details.

• Chef at the Market recipes from the second Sitka Farmers Market of the season, July 21, 2012

• Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, provides her recipes from the first Sitka Farmers Market

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, cooks rhubarb and sweet potatoes during a cooking demonstration on July 7, 2012, at the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Suzan Brawnlyn, the Chef at the Market, cooks rhubarb and sweet potatoes during a cooking demonstration on July 7, 2012, at the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

This year, several farmers markets from around the state received a share of a $15,000 grant from the Alaska Division of Agriculture to host a “Chef at the Market.” The Sitka Farmers Market is one of the lucky 11 markets, and local chef Suzan Brawnlyn will be doing cooking demonstrations at at least four of the six Sitka Farmers Markets this summer.

KCAW-Raven Radio hosted Suzan and Sitka Farmers Market manager Johanna Willingham for its Morning Interview on Monday, July 2, 2012. Suzan’s recipes from the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, July 7, are linked below. She plans to have a new cooking demonstration at the second market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

• Chef at the Market recipes from the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season, July 7, 2012

• Second Sitka Farmers Market of the summer takes place this Saturday (July 31) at ANB Hall

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2010 summer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). This is the second of this summer’s five big markets that started on July 17 and take place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 11. The remaining markets will be Aug. 14, 28 and Sept. 11 at ANB Hall. A smaller market will be held on Sept. 25 at the Crescent Harbor shelter as part of the annual Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network (more details on this event later).

The Sitka Farmers Markets give Sitka residents a chance to buy and sell locally produced food and crafts. The markets feature wild local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun.

Because many Sitka residents had concerns about food security and how they could access more local food, the Sitka Farmers Market and Sitka Local Foods Networks started out as community projects that came out of a health priority planning meeting during the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. The markets are sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, Sitka Conservation Society, the Alaska Farmers Market Association and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

Vendor fees are just $15 per market. Due to construction in the parking lot, only indoor booth space is available this year. We are the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons. To learn more or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Coordinator Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or e-mail lawilson87@hotmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other information for potential vendors can be found at this link.

Also, don’t forget that you can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, by clicking this link or the logo in the right-hand column and following the prompts. As of Thursday night (July 29), the Sitka Farmers Market was the leading vote-getter among Alaska’s markets participating in the contest, but we only had a five-vote lead over HomeGrown Market of Fairbanks. You can vote through the end of August, but only once per computer.

• Sitka Farmers Market’s third season opens on Saturday, July 17, at ANB Hall

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its third summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with five markets that start on July 17 and take place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 11. The Sitka Farmers Markets give Sitka residents a chance to buy and sell locally produced food and crafts.

The Sitka Farmers Markets take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 17, 31, Aug. 14, 28 and Sept. 11, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun. You also can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest by following the links at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

Sitka Local Foods Network board members Natalie Sattler, left, with parsnips, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, center, with turnips, and Doug Osborne, right, with turnips, show off some of the produce for sale at the final Sitka Farmers Market of 2009.

Sitka Local Foods Network board members Natalie Sattler, left, with parsnips, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, center, with turnips, and Doug Osborne, right, with turnips, show off some of the produce for sale at the final Sitka Farmers Market of 2009.

As a bonus, Medicine For The People, one of the bands in Sitka for this weekend’s Homeskillet Fest 2010, will play during this Saturday’s Sitka Farmers Market.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is like a carnival every other Saturday,” said Kerry MacLane, Sitka Local Foods Network Board President and Co-Coordinator of the Sitka Farmers Market. “It’s a fun community space to enjoy with your family or to meet your friends for fresh coffee and baked goods. There is live music, cooking demonstrations, art, and, of course, fresh veggies, fruit and seafood.”

“In 1970 there were only 340 farmers markets in America, and by 2006 there were more than 4,385. I think this dramatic growth is attributed to the many layers of social and economic benefits these markets offer,” said Doug Osborne, a health educator at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). “Last year, several participants said Sitka’s markets were among the highlights of their summer.”

The Sitka Farmers Market started as a community project that came out of a health priority planning meeting at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. This event is sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, Sitka Conservation Society, the Alaska Farmers Market Association and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

Vendor fees are just $15 per market. Due to construction in the parking lot, only indoor booth space is available this year. We are the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons. To learn more or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Coordinator Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or e-mail lawilson87@hotmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other information for potential vendors can be found at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.