• Sitka Local Foods Network extends deadline for mini-grants for growing produce for the Sitka Farmers Market

The Sitka Local Foods Network is offering three $100 mini-grants to Sitka gardeners willing to grow extra produce (vegetables, berries, fruit, herbs) the network can sell at its Sitka Farmers Markets this summer.

The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday, April 4. Applications will be reviewed and mini-grants will be awarded during the Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building (408 Marine St.).

In order to apply for a mini-grant, please write a letter describing your gardening experience, produce varieties you grow, and information and ideas about your growing space and about how you would use the funds to expand. These mini-grants are for vegetables, berries, fruit, herbs and other produce that can be sold by the Sitka Local Foods Network to help raise funds for its programs. We will need a commitment that all mini-grant winners provide fresh produce for the Sitka Local Foods Network to sell at at least three of the five scheduled Sitka Farmers Markets this summer (July 16, 30, Aug. 13, 27, Sept. 10).

To learn more about the mini-grants, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654. You can mail your letter of application to Sitka Local Foods Network, 408-D Marine St., Sitka, AK, 99835, or you can email it to Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 3akharts@acsalaska.net. Please make sure all application letters are received by Monday, April 4.

• Endless Summer Ecological Garden and Landscape is a new service for Sitka gardeners

Tracy Sylvester (left) and Jesse Remund staff the Endless Summer Ecological Garden and Landscape information booth at Let's Grow Sitka on March 14, 2010

Tracy Sylvester (left) and Jesse Remund staff the Endless Summer Ecological Garden and Landscape information booth at Let's Grow Sitka on March 14, 2010

Jesse Remund and Tracy Sylvester are offering a new service to Sitka with their Endless Summer Ecological Garden and Landscape company.

Jesse and Tracy say they can help Sitka gardeners take local food to a new level. They will help local gardeners grow vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants by providing expertise and grunt labor. They introduced their new service at the “Let’s Grow Sitka!” garden show event on March 14 at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

The pair will help Sitka residents with garden and landscape planning, planting, growing and maintenance, and harvesting. They believe, “A smart landscape is not only beautiful, it conserves water and energy, creates habitat for birds and other living organisms, filters pollution, combats global warming and can even provide tasty food for your plate!”

To learn more about their service, call 738-5377 or e-mail EndlessSummerEcological@gmail.com. Rates will depend on the job. Their main focus is on vegetable gardens.

• Third Sitka Farmers Market takes place on Saturday (Aug. 15)

SitkaFarmersMarketSign

The third Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.) and in the adjoining parking lot owned by the Baranof Island Housing Authority.

“The Sitka Farmers Market offers unique varieties of fresh, nutritious food at the peak of flavor, creates a vibrant community gathering place, and provides the opportunity for learning about healthy life choices and local products,” says Linda Wilson, Sitka Farmers Market Co-Coordinator.

The Sitka Farmers Market features about 20-30 vendors each market who sell locally grown produce, locally harvested fish and locally made arts and crafts. Local musicians perform on the stage inside the ANB Hall and in the jam tent outside, local cooks make ready-to-eat dishes and there are activities for the children. The Sitka Farmers Market is the only farmers market in Southeast Alaska authorized to accept WIC vouchers, which can be used by WIC-eligible families to purchase produce.

Booths are available for Saturday’s market for $5 a table. For more information about this week’s market, contact Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (nights) or lawilson87@hotmail.com, or contact Kerry MacLane at maclanekerry@yahoo.com.

By the way, don’t forget to vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the “Love Your Farmers Market” contest sponsored by Care2.com and LocalHarvest.org. The market with the most votes wins $5,000. To vote, just click on the contest logo below and follow the link.

love your farmers market contest - help your market win $5,000 - vote today!