Help us grow the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden program by voting for the Sitka Local Foods Network in the Nature’s Path Organic Foods Gardens For Good contest.
People can vote once per day from Monday, June 22, through 10:59 a.m. (Alaska time) on Monday, July 6. The top three vote-getters (two from the United States, one from Canada) will win $15,000 each to support their urban gardening efforts. We are the only project from Alaska among the 120 entrants.
“The Gardens for Good program is a way to fund the terrific things we are doing in Sitka through the Sitka Local Foods Network to get healthy, fresh and local produce into the mouths of Sitkans,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “Take time to vote once a day so we can make it into the final nine. We could really do a lot with $15,000!”
The St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden was built in 2008, shortly after that year’s Sitka Health Summit, when a majority of Sitkans said they wanted to see more community gardens/greenhouses in Sitka and they wanted a local foods market. The Sitka Farmers Market was launched a couple of months later, with produce grown at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm for sale to Sitka residents.
A group of kids harvests garlic during an Aug. 12, 2011, work party at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm.
Since then St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (located behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church, 611 Lincoln St.) has grown and it now produces several times the amount of local produce as what was for sale that first year. We also have added a few satellite gardens to help us grow even more produce in Sitka, and we still sell it at the Sitka Farmers Markets. People with Alaska Quest (SNAP) and WIC benefits can purchase the local produce using matching funds, so they can double the value of their vouchers. St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm produce is sold to school lunch programs, and we host a table during non-market weekends at the Chelan Produce stand.
In addition to growing local produce to sell to Sitka residents, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm has been used to teach locals about gardening. It’s also a fun place for kids to become more connected to their food. We also will use the $15,000 to continue our garden mentor program for another year or two and to help support the development of the Sitka Kitch community commercial kitchen project.
Don’t forget to vote for us once per day now through the morning of July 6. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please use this link, http://wshe.es/fZ1TjYIj, to share on your social media sites, letting people know where they need to go to vote for us.