• Kake to host three-day shellfish mariculture workshop on May 1-3

SE SWCD Shellfish Farming Brochure_draft_Page_1

The Southeast Soil and Water Conservation District (SESWCD) will host a comprehensive three-day shellfish mariculture workshop on Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3, in Kake.  (NOTE: Capital City Weekly ran an article covering this event, http://capitalcityweekly.com/stories/051414/new_1206564746.shtml).

This program will be aimed at teaching best management practices to beginning oyster farmers. The workshop curriculum will consist of lectures, labs, and hands-on field operations on working oyster farms. This workshop is open to the public and the District anticipates participation from shellfish farmers in Kake, Hoonah, and Angoon. Participants will learn from experts about nearly every aspect of oyster farming in Southeast Alaska.

The workshop also features a shellfish-oriented educational program at the Kake Community School, as well as a community presentation at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, at the Kake Community Hall Kitchen. Topics at the community presentation include: food security and mariculture, shellfish enhancement activities for subsistence use, indirect economic benefits of mariculture in the community, and commercial aquaculture diversity.

The District’s partners in this project are the Organized Village of Kake and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. Other participating organizations include the Hoonah Indian Association, Haa Aaní LLC, Alaska Division of Economic Development (Alaska Department of Commerce, Communities and Economic Development), and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

One of the SESWCD’s strategic focus areas is mariculture development (shellfish farming). The intent is to facilitate increased mariculture development in Southeast Alaska to increase food security and support rural economies. This shellfish farming workshop will be the district’s first project in its mariculture program. The Southeast Soil and Water Conservation District is a statutorily authorized quasi-state agency that leverages public funding with private sources to help the communities of Southeast Alaska become more sustainable and self-sufficient.

To register or receive more info, contact James Marcus at 1-907-586-6878 (Juneau number) or districtmanager@seswcd.org.

• Southeast Soil and Water Conservation District Shellfish Mariculture Workshop in Kake press release (with tentative schedule on second page)

• Two associated with Sitka Local Foods Network win awards at Alaska Health Summit

Sitka filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein, center, of Frankenstein Productions, greets fans after the Sitka premiere of her film "Eating Alaska" in October 2008

Sitka filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein, center, of Frankenstein Productions, greets fans after the Sitka premiere of her film "Eating Alaska" in October 2008

The Alaska Public Health Association (ALPHA) honored two programs with ties to the Sitka Local Foods Network during the Alaska Health Summit banquet on Dec. 9. Sitka filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein (and her Frankenstein Productions company) and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program both won the Alaska Community Service Award. According to ALPHA, the Alaska Community Service Award “recognizes an organization, business or group making a significant contribution to improving the health of Alaskans. It is ALPHA’s intent that nominees outside the public health tradition be considered for this award. A nominee does not need to be an ALPHA member.”

Frankenstein has produced several documentary films over the years, including “Eating Alaska,” which focuses on how we choose the food we eat. Eating Alaska debuted in the fall of 2008, and Frankenstein has taken it to film festivals all over the state and country. “Eating Alaska” received funding support from the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program and other funders, plus technical support was provided by SEARHC health educators, physicians and dietitians. Some of Frankenstein’s other films include “No Loitering,” “Carved from the Heart,” “A Matter of Respect,” and “Miles from the Border.” She currently is working on a documentary film project with Haida weaver Dolores Churchill.

“As someone who fills in the occupation blank on forms with ‘filmmaker/artist,’ this award represents the fact that labels and lines don’t matter when it comes to social change and to making our lives healthier,” Frankenstein wrote from Austin, Texas, where she was attending a screening of Eating Alaska. “It not only validates my work, but represents your open-mindedness to the potential of working collaboratively and creatively with kids and adults, using art, media and storytelling to influence well-being and healthy communities.”

Frankenstein also sent this note to her e-mail group:

EATING ALASKA: ART AND HEALTH!
We just got the news the project has been awarded The Alaska Public Health Association’s 2009 Community Service Award for Health. In the process of making this film and in its use we’ve worked with nutritionists, health educators, medical and public health practitioners to add to the conversation about what we can do to make our homes, workplaces, schools and communities healthier and more sustainable. We appreciate the help everyone has given to the project to help us “contribute to improving the health of Alaskans” and others far beyond.

The SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program, which closes this month, was honored for the work it did over the life of its five-year grant (the national Steps to a Healthier US grant has ended, so that means all of the local grants that were part of the national grant also are ending). The Steps program funded 77 projects worth just over $1.1 million in 12 Southeast Alaska communities. Steps was one of the major funders and organizers of the Sitka Health Summit, which is where the Sitka Local Foods Network originated.

The Steps program’s goals were to increase opportunities for physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce the impact of tobacco in Southeast Alaska. The program also worked to reduce diabetes, obesity and asthma in Southeast communities. To accomplish its goals, Steps developed partnerships with schools, worksites, tribes and other community groups so they could change social norms and policies, and make evidence-based and culturally relevant interventions. In addition to the projects, Steps also hosted conferences and workshops to help programs learn how to work in collaboration.

The Steps program used the socio-ecological model, which emphasizes that an individual’s health status is influenced not only by his or her attitudes and practices, but also by personal relationships and community and societal factors. Nearly half of the 77 Steps grants (37) went to community projects, with the others geared toward schools and worksites. More than three-quarters of the grants (60) focused on improving nutrition and/or increasing physical activity. Together, the projects reached 128,000 people (with many people reached by multiple projects) in the communities of Angoon, Craig, Haines, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Kake, Kasaan, Klawock, Klukwan, Sitka and Wrangell.

“Overall, the Steps initiative helped build capacity within communities, worksites and schools to work collaboratively, to plan evidence-based programs, and to monitor and evaluate program success,” said Grace Brooks, Steps Grant Manager. “Steps also contributed to an overall increased understanding of the importance of policy in supporting community, school and workplace health.”

In other local foods news from around the state this past week, the Alaska Dispatch ran an article about an indoors farmers market this winter at Anchorage’s Northway Mall.

Capital City Weekly featured a story by Carla Petersen about how the search for elusive cranberries is worth the challenge.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced last week that it is encouraging the use of catch shares to preserve the remaining stocks of halibut (the article features a photo from Sitka).

The Anchorage Daily News featured a story about Gov. Sean Parnell proposing to spend $1.3 million to research declining Yukon River salmon runs.

The Juneau Empire had a story about how an arts advocacy group in Juneau, Arts for Kids, has teamed up with Sitka-based Theobroma Chocolate Co. to offer SmART bars as a fundraiser for art scholarships for graduating seniors in Juneau.

The publicity poster for the movie Eating Alaska

• SEARHC, Cooperative Extension hosts free garden workshop on Sept. 9

Master gardener Bob Gorman shows off seed starts in wet paper towels during a March garden workshop

Master gardener Bob Gorman shows off seed starts in wet paper towels during a March garden workshop

Do you want to grow some of your own food this summer, so you can have more fresh food choices and eat healthier dinners? Then the fourth and final installment in a continuing series of garden workshops is for you.

The SEARHC Diabetes and Health Promotion programs have teamed up with master gardener Bob Gorman of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to offer a series of four free garden workshops during the summer of 2009. The last workshop of the series takes place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The class will be hosted at the SEARHC Community Health Services Building third-floor conference room in Sitka (1212 Seward Dr.). But participants in other communities will join by video or audioconference from the SEARHC Juneau Administration Building Conference Room, the SEARHC Jessie Norma Jim Health Center in Angoon, the Haines Borough Library, the SEARHC Kake Health Center and the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock.

“Even though summer is winding down, people still have a lot they can do in this year’s growing season,” said Maybelle Filler, SEARHC Diabetes Grant Coordinator. “Southeast Alaska is unique in its growing conditions, and it’s great that the SEARHC Diabetes and Health Promotion programs can partner with the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to provide information on growing things in our area.”

The first three workshops in the four-workshop series were March 11, May 6 and July 8. The topics for the remaining workshop are:

* Sept. 9 — Late-winter plantings; trees and shrubs; house plants and indoor gardening; and winterizing your garden.

For more information about this series of free workshops, contact SEARHC Diabetes Grant Coordinator Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or maybelle.filler@searhc.org. People who aren’t able to attend at one of the listed video or audioconferencing sites, should contact Maybelle for other options. Maybelle also has extra copies of the handouts for those who miss any of the garden workshops.

• Healthy Wrangell Coalition hopes to build a community garden

Some of our neighbor communities also are looking for ways to get more local foods into their diets. Last week, KSTK-FM in Wrangell ran a story about the Healthy Wrangell Coalition’s goal of building a community garden in Wrangell. A couple of days later, there was a follow-up story about the project receiving a $5,000 start-up grant from the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program.

Here’s wishing Wrangell well with the project. We can use more locally grown food in all Southeast Alaska communities.

By the way, Wrangell and Kake both recently launched new WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Living health and wellness programs, which are modeled after a similar WISEFAMILIES program in Klukwan that’s been around for a couple of years. These programs feature culture camps where residents learn how to harvest and preserve traditional subsistence foods, learn Tlingít language, tell stories and learn other traditional activities such as carving and weaving. The more established program in Klukwan includes a community garden and a potato patch as part of its offerings, and Kake also is working on building a community garden. The three WISEFAMILIES programs are partnerships between the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program and the local tribes in each community (Wrangell Cooperative Association, Organized Village of Kake and Chilkat Indian Village).

Click here to listen to the first KSTK-FM radio story about building a Wrangell community garden (note that link has streaming audio, so adjust your volume accordingly)

Click here to listen to the follow-up KSTK-FM radio story about the $5,000 start-up grant for the project (link also has streaming audio)

Click here to learn more about the Healthy Wrangell Coalition

• SEARHC, Cooperative Extension host free garden workshops

BobGormanSeedStarts

(Photo — Master gardener Bob Gorman shows off germinating seed starts during a free garden workshop in March. He will lead another workshop on July 8.)

SEARHC, Cooperative Extension host free garden workshops

Do you want to grow some of your own food this summer, so you can have more fresh food choices and eat healthier dinners? Then the third in a continuing series of garden workshops is for you.

The SEARHC Diabetes and Health Promotion programs have teamed up with master gardener Bob Gorman of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to offer a series of four free garden workshops during the summer of 2009. The remaining workshops take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, and Wednesday, Sept. 9.

These classes will be hosted at the SEARHC Community Health Services Building third-floor conference room in Sitka, but other communities will join by video or audioconference from the SEARHC Juneau Administration Building Conference Room, the SEARHC Jessie Norma Jim Health Center in Angoon, the Haines Borough Library, the SEARHC Kake Health Center and the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock.

“Even though summer hasn’t fully arrived, people still have a lot they can do in this year’s growing season,” said Maybelle Filler, SEARHC Diabetes Grant Coordinator. “Southeast Alaska is unique in its growing conditions, and it’s great that the SEARHC Diabetes and Health Promotion programs can partner with the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to provide information on growing things in our area.”

The first two workshops in the four-workshop series were March 11 and May 6. The topics for the two remaining workshops are:
* July 8 — Gathering and pest management.
* Sept. 9 — Late-winter plantings, trees and shrubs; house plants and indoor gardening; and winterizing your garden.

For more information about this series of free workshops, contact SEARHC Diabetes Grant Coordinator Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or maybelle.filler@searhc.org. People who aren’t able to attend at one of the listed video or audeoconferencing sites, should contact Maybelle for other options. Maybelle also has extra copies of the handouts for those who miss any of the garden workshops.