• Tom’s of Maine awards $20,000 to Sitka Local Foods Network in 50 States For Good program

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A short tweet last summer has resulted in a major contribution for a Sitka nonprofit.

In July, Sitka Local Foods Network Communications Director/Board Member Charles Bingham noticed a Tom’s of Maine promotion asking people to tweet about how they would use $20,000 to support a community nonprofit organization, so he created a Twitter account and tweeted about how he’d like the money to help the Sitka Local Foods Network’s work to improve food security in Sitka.

50-states-logoToday, Tom’s of Maine announced that the Sitka Local Foods Network has been selected as one of 52 winners from across the country in its seventh annual “50 States for Good” community-giving program. The Sitka Local Foods Network will receive $20,000 to fund important community projects and services in its mission to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans.

“Due to my current work situation (or lack thereof), I don’t have much money to contribute to my favorite nonprofits. So I saw the promotion as a way to potentially get some funding for a local cause I believe in,” Bingham said. “It’s neat to see the power of 140 characters.”

“The Sitka Local Foods Network is elated to be receiving one of Tom’s of Maine’s 50 States of Good awards,” Sitka Local Foods Network President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “These funds will bolster our efforts to engage Sitka around issues of community food security and sustainability. Additionally, they’ll help us expand our programming efforts focused on food production at household, organizational and community levels. Finally, the award will assist Sitka in planning for a more robust, resilient food system that can feed us into the future as we participate in the upcoming community comprehensive planning process.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK Sitka Local Foods Network board members and supporters pose at the St. Peter's Fellowship Farm communal garden on Monday. St. Peter's Fellowship Farm supplies most of the local produce sold at the Sitka Farmers Markets during the summer. The first Sitka Farmers Market of the season is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. The other five Sitka Farmers Market dates are July 18, Aug. 1, Aug. 15, Aug. 29, and Sept. 12. Pictured are, front row from left, Michelle Putz, Muriel Sadleir-Hart, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Kathy Jones. Back row, Matthew Jackson, Jonathan Adler, Peter Gorman, Jud Kirkness, Brandie Cheatham, Mary Therese Thomson, and Laura Schmidt.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK
Sitka Local Foods Network board members and supporters pose at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden in June 2015. St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm supplies most of the local produce sold at the Sitka Farmers Markets during the summer. Pictured are, front row from left, Michelle Putz, Muriel Sadleir-Hart, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Kathy Jones. Back row, Matthew Jackson, Jonathan Adler, Peter Gorman, Jud Kirkness, Brandie Cheatham, Mary Therese Thomson, and Laura Schmidt.

To accomplish its mission, the Sitka Local Foods Network hosts the annual Sitka Farmers Market in the summer, operates the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (which grows produce to sell at the Sitka Farmers Market), and offers a variety of garden and food preservation classes throughout the year (including an innovative garden mentoring project for beginning gardeners).

According to Sadleir-Hart, the Tom’s of Maine award will work to “grow” our garden education and garden mentoring programs, which are key elements of the Sitka Local Foods Network’s mission to “increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans.” Additionally, the monies will support production improvements at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and at Pat Arvin’s extension garden.

TomsOfMaineTweetPassionate community members took to their social media pages to share #OneWaytoHelp their communities, amassing nearly 10,000 submissions. One entrant representing each state and Washington, D.C., was selected to designate a local nonprofit in their area to receive project funding from Tom’s of Maine (there also was a random UPC code winner).

“This year’s nonprofit recipients bring to life an inspiring picture of the care that Americans have for each other and their communities,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “People often think giving back to their community is time intensive, and we wanted to show there are easy ways to make a difference, like raising awareness for a cause you love and supporting brands that strive to make the world a better place for future generations.”

Tom’s of Maine is a natural products company focused on oral and personal care with a variety of products including toothpaste, antiperspirant, deodorant, bar soap, lip balm, and baby shampoo. It has given 10 percent of its profits back to the community since 1970 and encourages employees to use 5 percent (12 days) of paid time off to volunteer every year. For more information about Tom’s of Maine, visit http://www.tomsofmaine.com or https://www.facebook.com/TomsofMaine. A complete list of winners can be found here, http://blog.tomsofmaine.com/index.php/50sfg/.

To learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/. You also can like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, and you can follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SitkaLocalFoods (@SitkaLocalFoods).

• Sitka Local Foods Network seeks a coordinator for our new downtown garden education program

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UnitedWayOfSoutheastAlaskaLogoThe Sitka Local Foods Network is looking to contract with a Sitka resident to coordinate our new downtown garden education program. We recently received a 2015 community impact grant from the United Way of Southeast Alaska to develop this program, which we hope to launch in 2016 at a space next to Baranof Elementary School.

This contract run from November 2015 through fall 2016, and the coordinator will be in charge of developing curricula, teaching classes, obtaining supplies, and providing evaluation of the program. A full list of job duties and expectations can be found in the linked document at the bottom of this article.

Applicants should have at least 3-5 years of varied vegetable gardening experience, preferably in Southeast Alaska. They also should have 3-5 years of project coordination experience, as well as demonstrated communication, organizational, and teaching/mentoring skills.

This new program is modeled after our successful garden mentoring project, but instead of having garden mentors go out to beginning gardeners’ homes to provide instruction this new program will be taught at a centralized teaching garden next to Baranof Elementary School. The person who wins this contract will develop curricula (there is some curricula already available from the garden mentoring program), will prepare the garden plots, and will teach at least one class for adults and one class for kids every two weeks through the spring and summer.

The garden mentoring project began in 2014 when two families of first-time gardeners were chosen to receive help planning and building a simple garden to grow four relatively easy plants for Sitka (kale, rhubarb, potatoes, lettuce). In 2015 the program expanded to provide mentoring service to four new first-time gardening families, plus the two families from 2014 received a second year of mentoring as they learn a few more difficult to grow plants (such as carrots). There are six classes with each family, and they usually are open to the public.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and resume by Wednesday, Oct. 21, to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Please put “SLFN Downtown Garden Education Coordinator” in your email subject line. The contract pays $1,070 total, in three installments of $350 for the first two payments in February and April, and $370 for the final payment at the end of August.

Questions about the contract can be directed to Michelle Putz at 747-2708 or to Maybelle Filler at 738-1982, or send an email to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

• SLFN downtown garden education coordinator contract information

• Sitka Local Foods Network receives 2015 Community Impact Grant

GreensInHoopHouseStPeters

UnitedWayOfSoutheastAlaskaLogoThe Sitka Local Foods Network has been awarded a 2015 Community Impact Grant from the United Way of Southeast Alaska in the amount of $1,765 to assist with the network’s garden education program.

These funds will be used to create a downtown teaching garden (hopefully at Baranof Elementary School), creating a centralized garden that can be used to teach a variety of garden education classes throughout the year. The United Way of Southeast Alaska awarded Community Impact Grants to 11 Southeast nonprofit organizations in the areas of health, education, and income.

“The Sitka Local Foods Network appreciates the support of the United Way of Southeast Alaska,” said Michelle Putz, a Sitka Local Foods Network board member and member of the network’s education committee. “We look forward to developing a centrally located instructional food garden and a community education program that acts as a center of learning. This garden space will give us a new opportunity to teach local beginner gardeners of different ages how to produce their own food using the garden as an outdoor classroom. Next year we will be able to invite the community and gardeners of Sitka to an open, public location for bi-weekly classes for children and adults throughout the gardening year, focusing on different topics.”

“We always have more demand and requests for funding than we are able to give but in this competitive grant process the Sitka Local Foods Network ranked high in meeting targeted needs in the community,” said Rustan Burton, Chair of United Way of Southeast Alaska. “We are happy to partner with the Sitka Local Foods Network to meet this/these community need(s).”

United Way of Southeast Alaska is an independently governed, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening lives, helping people, and improving community conditions in Southeast Alaska. United Way of Southeast Alaska and its partner agencies work to create real, lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of problems within our communities. Additionally, United Way of Southeast supports community programs and initiatives that help those in need and also prevent problems from happening in the first place.

The Sitka Local Foods Network’s mission is to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets in Southeast Alaskans. To accomplish this, the Sitka Local Foods Network hosts the annual Sitka Farmers Market in the summer, operates the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (which grows produce to sell at the Sitka Farmers Market), and offers a variety of garden and food preservation classes throughout the year (including an innovative garden mentoring project for beginning gardeners).

To learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/. You also can like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, and you can follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SitkaLocalFoods (@SitkaLocalFoods). For more information about the United Way of Southeast Alaska, go to http://www.unitedwayseak.org/

• Experience the best of Sitka’s local food scene with our updated Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser

SitkaSoundSuppersLogoEating local in Sitka can be an amazing experience. We have wide variety of high-quality seafood, including five types of salmon, halibut, blackcod, dozens of varieties of rockfish, ling cod, Alaska king crab, Dungeness crab, scallops, spot prawns, yum. There also is Sitka black-tailed deer and other wild game. And there’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce from the garden, and our berries are exquisite.

Now you can experience the best of Sitka’s local food scene with Sitka Sound Suppers: A Chef-To-Table Experience, a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network. (NOTE: Please see the update below.)

Three Sitka chefs — Kathy Jones (Westmark/Dock Shack), Edith Johnson (Fly-In Fish Inn), and Jackie Barmoy (former owner of Loaves and Fishes in Seattle) — have volunteered their talents to prepare a totally local meal that will be brought to your Sitka home for you to enjoy.

  • Donate at the $500 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for two people.
  • Donate at the $1,000 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for four people.
  • Donate at the $2,000 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for eight people.

We are planning on preparing just one special dinner at each donation level, so get in on the promotion early. (UPDATE: We have decided to allow multiple dinners for each donation level instead of a single dinner. We didn’t know how many people would respond, so didn’t want to overtask our chefs, who are donating their time and talents to this promotion. So, even though we already have a donor at the $500 level, we can accommodate a second and/or third donor at that level.)

The Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser launched on July 16 and ends after our final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Sept. 12. The winners of our meals will be connected to our chefs, so they can agree on a menu and date for the meal during the Fall 2015 harvest season (late September to November). All meals will be prepared and served in Sitka, Alaska. You can learn more about the Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser by watching this video.

The funds raised by this promotion will help the Sitka Local Foods Network continue its work promoting local foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska through the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, and our education programs. As the organization has grown and matured, we’ve reached a point where we need to hire a part-time staff person to handle some of the daily duties of our organization. Your donations will go into a fund to help us eventually be able to hire that staff person.

Your support for the Sitka Local Foods Network is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

By the way, if you want to contribute to the Sitka Local Foods Network but not receive one of the Sitka Sound Suppers, you can go to our main fundraising page on Razoo.com (a fundraising/crowdfunding site for nonprofit organizations) and donate in any amount over $10 there. Your online donation is secure and tax-deductible (we have federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status). Thanks again.

• Sitka Sound Suppers information flier (opens as PDF file)

• Experience the best of Sitka’s local food scene with our Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser

SitkaSoundSuppersLogoEating local in Sitka can be an amazing experience. We have wide variety of high-quality seafood, including five types of salmon, halibut, blackcod, dozens of varieties of rockfish, ling cod, Alaska king crab, Dungeness crab, scallops, spot prawns, yum. There also is Sitka black-tailed deer and other wild game. And there’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce from the garden, and our berries are exquisite.

Now you can experience the best of Sitka’s local food scene withSitka Sound Suppers: A Chef-To-Table Experience, a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network.

Three Sitka chefs — Kathy Jones (Westmark/Dock Shack), Edith Johnson (Fly-In Fish Inn), and Jackie Barmoy (former owner of Loaves and Fishes in Seattle) — have volunteered their talents to prepare a totally local meal that will be brought to your Sitka home for you to enjoy.

  • Donate at the $500 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for two people.
  • Donate at the $1,000 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for four people.
  • Donate at the $2,000 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for eight people.

We are planning on preparing just one special dinner at each donation level, so get in on the promotion early.

The Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser launched on July 16 and ends after our final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Sept. 12. The winners of our meals will be connected to our chefs, so they can agree on a menu and date for the meal during the Fall 2015 harvest season (late September to November). All meals will be prepared and served in Sitka, Alaska. You can learn more about the Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser by watching this video.

The funds raised by this promotion will help the Sitka Local Foods Network continue its work promoting local foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska through the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, and our education programs. As the organization has grown and matured, we’ve reached a point where we need to hire a part-time staff person to handle some of the daily duties of our organization. Your donations will go into a fund to help us eventually be able to hire that staff person.

Your support for the Sitka Local Foods Network is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

By the way, if you want to contribute to the Sitka Local Foods Network but not receive one of the Sitka Sound Suppers, you can go to our main fundraising page on Razoo.com (a fundraising/crowdfunding site for nonprofit organizations) and donate in any amount over $10 there. Your online donation is secure and tax-deductible (we have federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status). Thanks again.

• Sitka Sound Suppers information flier (opens as PDF file)

• Experience the best of Sitka’s local food scene with our Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser

SitkaSoundSuppersLogoEating local in Sitka can be an amazing experience. We have wide variety of high-quality seafood, including five types of salmon, halibut, blackcod, dozens of varieties of rockfish, ling cod, Alaska king crab, Dungeness crab, scallops, spot prawns, yum. There also is Sitka black-tailed deer and other wild game. And there’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce from the garden, and our berries are exquisite.

Now you can experience the best of Sitka’s local food scene with Sitka Sound Suppers: A Chef-To-Table Experience, a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network.

Three Sitka chefs — Kathy Jones (Westmark/Dock Shack), Edith Johnson (Fly-In Fish Inn), and Jackie Barmoy (former owner of Loaves and Fishes in Seattle) — have volunteered their talents to prepare a totally local meal that will be brought to your Sitka home for you to enjoy.

  • Donate at the $500 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for two people.
  • Donate at the $1,000 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for four people.
  • Donate at the $2,000 level and you receive a local Sitka dinner for eight people.

We are planning on preparing just one special dinner at each donation level, so get in on the promotion early.

The Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser launches on July 16 and ends after our final Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Sept. 12. The winners of our meals will be connected to our chefs, so they can agree on a menu and date for the meal during the Fall 2015 harvest season (late September to November). All meals will be prepared and served in Sitka, Alaska. You can learn more about the Sitka Sound Suppers fundraiser by watching this video.

The funds raised by this promotion will help the Sitka Local Foods Network continue its work promoting local foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska through the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, and our education programs. As the organization has grown and matured, we’ve reached a point where we need to hire a part-time staff person to handle some of the daily duties of our organization. Your donations will go into a fund to help us eventually be able to hire that staff person.

Your support for the Sitka Local Foods Network is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

By the way, if you want to contribute to the Sitka Local Foods Network but not receive one of the Sitka Sound Suppers, you can go to our main fundraising page on Razoo.com (a fundraising/crowdfunding site for nonprofit organizations) and donate in any amount over $10 there. Your online donation is secure and tax-deductible (we have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status). Thanks again.

• Sitka Sound Suppers information flier (opens as PDF file)

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• Mark your calendar for several upcoming meetings about local food projects

As we near spring, it’s time to start marking your calendar with meetings, workshops and garden preparation events. Here is a list of some of the upcoming events, so you can add them to your calendar. All of these events are open to the public and new volunteers are more than welcome to join each project.

  • The Sitka Seafood Festival planning committee meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at the Baranof Island Brewing Company, 212 Smith St. The Sitka Seafood Festival is May 20-21 this year, and there are several fundraising events (such as the Sitka Culinary Tour Passport event on March 10-13) in the months leading up to the festival. For more info, contact Alicia Olson at 1-928-607-4845 or sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com.
  • The Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative work group will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more info, contact Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985 or Doug Osborne at 747-3752.
  • The Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 7, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building, 408 Marine St. For more info, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.
  • The Sitka Farmers Market planning group meets at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building, 408 Marine St. For more info, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (nights, weekends).
  • The Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event starts at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, 456 Katlian St. Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau will be at the Let’s Grow Sitka event to discuss fruit trees. Buyarski also will give a pruning workshop at a time and location TBA on Saturday, March 19; and he will give a talk about fruit trees at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 20, at ANB Hall. For more info, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (nights, weekends).