Fifth-grade students start their own garden at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

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Five fifth-grade boys are growing a variety of crops this year after starting their own garden at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

The five boys who started the garden — Kyan Scudero, Bridger Bird, Takeshi Handy, Samuel Jones, and Camden Young — were assisted by their classmates, teacher Jennifer Tulloh said. They will be in sixth grade at Blatchley Middle School this fall.

The boys let student-teacher Julie Jordan know they wanted to start a garden and, with Tulloh’s blessing, Jordan contacted Sitka Local Foods Network board member Jennifer Carter for technical assistance. Jordan designed the garden beds, and her husband, Karl Jordan, had the students in his Blatchley Middle School shop class build the raised garden beds.

“You know, this started as a project for my kids that weren’t interested in band but my whole class got involved in the project,” Tulloh said. “The boys got really into the planting and enjoyed meeting with Jennifer (Carter), who was so giving of her time and resources. They started and followed the garden from beginning to end and took great pride in it.”

“The young men wanted to start a vegetable garden for their school and leave it as a parting legacy before they moved on to middle school,” Carter said. “They learned how to prepare the soil, measure for proper spacing and start their own seedlings. They have planted rhubarb, strawberries, potatoes, peas, lettuce, carrots, kale, onions, and radishes.”

A slideshow of photos of the boys and their garden (taken by Jennifer Carter) can be found below.

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• Alaska Dream Salmon wins first Table of the Day Award

Julie Jordan of Alaska Dream Salmon receives the Table of the Day award from Kerry MacLane for the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season

Julie Jordan of Alaska Dream Salmon receives the Table of the Day award from Kerry MacLane for the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season

Julie Jordan of Alaska Dream Salmon receives the “Table of the Day Award” from Sitka Farmers Markets co-coordinator Kerry MacLane after the season’s first market on July 18. The Sitka Local Foods Network selected her table — which featured three varieties of fresh salmon and rock fish caught on the F/V Saturday — to receive the $25 cash prize, an Alaska Farmers Market Association tote bag, a selection of locally grown herbs and a certificate of appreciation. An identical prize package will be awarded to a deserving vendor at each of the four remaining Sitka Farmers Markets. The second market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

Keep your eye on this site, because a photo gallery from the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season will be posted later this week.