• Sitka Local Foods Network to host Harvest Fest Fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 23

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Help celebrate Food Day by joining the Sitka Local Foods Network as it hosts its inaugural Harvest Fest Fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Del Shirley Room upstairs in Allen Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus.

This event will feature a silent auction for a variety of local food- and garden-related items and services, including:

  • An apple tree and planting/pruning service,
  • Canning lessons,
  • 4-6 hours of work in your garden,
  • Flats of “Finn Island Farm” vegetable starts for 2015,
  • Customized local foods packages,
  • Chef services,
  • Wine-making supplies/materials/lesson,
  • Edible landscaping consultation,
  • Home-made desserts and other homegrown goodies,
  • Compost,
  • Alaska gardening books, and
  • A tour of and overnight stay at Finn Island Farm for 1-2 people, includes transportation, gourmet dinner and breakfast.

In addition, the Lexicon of Sustainability photos will be on display, we will give a short update on the state of local food in Sitka, there will be live music, light refreshments featuring local food will be served, and we will pour locally brewed beer (for those age 21 and older) and root beer from Baranof Island Brewing Company. This is a family oriented event, and there is a suggested donation of $5.

“The Sitka Local Foods Network board is excited to share the Lexicon of Sustainability photos again with the Sitka community in the context with our Harvest Fest Fundraiser,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. “We’ve received a delicious array of donations from board members and friends for food-focused items and services for a silent auction, plus we will serve light refreshments focused on locally grown foods and hear about the state of Sitka’s foodscape. It’ll be a festive, informative event.”

The Sitka Local Foods Network is a nonprofit organization that promotes and encourages the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. Money raised at this fundraiser will support the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners.

For more information, contact the Sitka Local Foods Network at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org.

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• Pacific High School’s local food meal featured on KCAW-Raven Radio

Photo courtesy of KCAW-Raven Radio

Photo courtesy of KCAW-Raven Radio

A special local food meal cooked and eaten by students at Pacific High School in Sitka was featured in a story by reporter Anne Brice on the Wednesday, Oct. 24, morning and evening newscasts on KCAW-Raven Radio.

October is National Farm To School Month, and Oct. 24 was Food Day, so the students cooked up a meal featuring coho salmon with a lemon swirl and dill pesto served on a bed of kale. The fish was provided as part of the Sitka Conservation Society’s Fish-to-Schools program (a 2010 Sitka Health Summit project), and the veggies and herbs came from Lori Adams’ Down-To-Earth U-Pick Garden.

• Tour de Coop, a chicken tour of Sitka takes place on Oct. 27 in honor of National Food Day

Have you always been curious about what it takes to raise chickens in Sitka? Several of Sitka’s chicken coop owners will host the Tour de Coop — a guided walking tour of chicken coops at four homes in the Biorka neighborhood in honor of Food Day. This event features two tours starting at 11 and 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, from the Baranof Elementary School playground parking lot (from the Market Center side).

During the guided walking tour, participants will learn chicken how-to basics from Sitka residents who are raising chickens for eggs and meat. Participants will learn the basics of raising chickens from chicks, what types of chickens do best in Sitka’s climate, what types of feed to use, how to build a coop, and how to protect the coop from bears and dogs. This tour is family friendly and interactive, fun guaranteed.

The Tour de Coop is brought to you by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Food Co-op, and Food Day. Food Day, which is Oct. 24 each year, is a national celebration and movement promoting healthy, affordable and sustainable food. For more information, contact Jud Kirkness at judkirkness@yahoo.com or call the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509. (Editor’s note: The KCAW-Raven Radio Morning Interview on Friday, Oct. 26, featured Jud Kirkness and Ellen Frankenstein being interviewed by Holly Keen about the Tour de Coop and other food issues in Sitka.)

• Sitka Local Foods Network to host planning meeting on Friday, Sept. 28, for Food Day events in October

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host a planning meeting from 5-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, at the See House behind St. Peter’s By the Sea Episcopal Church (enter by the statue of St. Francis) to discuss plans for this year’s Food Day in October.

Food Day is a national celebration on Oct. 24 each year about healthy, affordable and sustainable food. Food Day highlights issues such as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare and farm worker justice. The main goal of Food Day is to transform the American diet so it includes more healthy and real food. All Americans — regardless of their age, race, income or geographic locations — should be able to select healthy diets and avoid obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other diet-related conditions.

Food Day events are held in thousands of communities in the United States, including several in Alaska. Click here to learn more about Food Day. There also are several resources available for people outside Sitka who want to plan Food Day activities in their communities. Click the link below for a one-page informational flier about Food Day (opens as a PDF file). For more information, contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

• One-page informational flier about Food Day