• Sitka Local Foods Network garden education classes for Winter/Spring 2015 get strong launch

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The first two classes from the Winter/Spring 2015 schedule of the Sitka Local Foods Network Education Committee are in the books and more than 50 students attended. The Vegetable Gardening 101 class on Jan. 27 had 33 people in attendance, while the Choosing What Veggies to Grow in Sitka class on Feb. 3 had 22 students.

These classes show Sitka has a hunger for learning more about how to grow and raise its own food, and we’re hoping to offer a wide variety of classes that help accomplish that goal. Our next class is Everyone Can Compost, taught by Jennifer Carter at 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine St., parking is off Spruce Street). Other upcoming classes include Fruit Tree Pruning Basics on March 7, Growing and Fertilizing Rhubarb on March 14, Starting Vegetable Seedlings on on March 31, and Seed-Starting Basics on April 11. The full schedule is attached, and the link above has more details.

We also are looking for more teachers who feel comfortable teaching an aspect of gardening they know well and is suited for Sitka. If you think you can teach a class, please contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708 or michelleputzfood@yahoo.com. Below are handouts related to the first two classes, plus a slideshow of photos from the first class.

• Winter/Spring 2015 garden education classes from the Sitka Local Foods Network (opens as PDF)

• Vegetable Gardening 101 Handout

• Vegetable Garden Varieties for Southeast Alaska (from UAF Cooperative Extension Service)

• Vegetable Gardening in Southeast Alaska (from UAF Cooperative Extension Service)

• Raised-Bed Gardening in Alaska (from UAF Cooperative Extension Service)

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• Sitka Local Foods Network elects officers, installs new board members at January meeting

The 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Front row, from left, Alli Gabbert, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Jennifer Carter. Middle row, from left, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz. Back row, from left, Charles Bingham, Brandie Chastain, Matthew Jackson, and Beth Kindig.

The 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Front row, from left, Alli Gabbert, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Jennifer Carter. Middle row, from left, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz. Back row, from left, Charles Bingham, Brandie Cheatham, Matthew Jackson, and Beth Kindig.

The Sitka Local Foods Network elected officers and welcomed three new board members at its monthly board meeting on Jan. 12.

President Lisa Sadleir-Hart and treasurer Maybelle Filler retained their elected offices, while Matthew “Jackson” Jackson was elected vice president and Alli Gabbert was elected secretary. Charles Bingham remains communications director.

In addition, Alli Gabbert, Jennifer Carter and Brandie Cheatham officially became board members in January (at our annual board retreat on Jan. 10). They were selected to join the board in December, but weren’t able to vote until January.

The 2015 board members are (terms end in December):

  • Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president, board term ends 2015
  • Matthew Jackson, vice president, board term ends 2016
  • Alli Gabbert, secretary, board term ends 2015
  • Maybelle Filler, treasurer, board term ends 2015
  • Charles Bingham, communications director, board term ends 2017
  • Jennifer Carter, board term ends 2017
  • Michelle Putz, board term ends 2016
  • Beth Kindig, board term ends 2016
  • Brandie Cheatham, board term ends 2017

The Sitka Local Foods Network meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, with a 30-minute budget meeting at 6 p.m., at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church (usually in the upstairs classroom). However, in February we will meet on the third Monday (Feb. 16) to avoid a couple of board member conflicts.

Our board usually doesn’t meet during the summer (June, July, August), when the Sitka Farmers Market is in session and most people are gardening or fishing. Meeting times are subject to change so watch the website calendar for schedule updates. Meetings are open to the public, and new volunteers are welcome. We usually select new board members in December and elect officers in January.

• It’s time to … mark your calendars and get ready for spring with these garden education classes (UPDATED)

 

Winter blahs got you down? Thinking about your garden, especially with our warm winter? It’s time to mark your calendars with several upcoming Spring 2015 garden classes offered by the Sitka Local Foods Network Education Committee.

GreensInHoopHouseStPetersThese free classes will cover a variety of topics, from gardening basics and choosing what veggies to grow in Sitka to learning about fruit tree pruning, composting and seed-starting. Some of the classes have limited space and require preregistration, so sign up early. Also, we may be adding more classes to this list as they become available, so check the website for updates. We plan to post individual class announcements as we get closer to the actual class dates. (NOTE: The list of classes was updated on Jan. 21.)

And now, here’s the list of classes so far:

  • Vegetable Gardening 101 — 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teachers Michelle Putz and Linda Wilson, class tailored for beginners, no preregistration required.
  • Choosing What Veggies to Grow in Sitka — 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teachers Lisa Sadleir-Hart and Maybelle Filler, class tailored for beginners, no preregistration required.
  • Everyone Can Compost — 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street), teacher Jennifer Carter, no preregistration required.
  • Fruit Tree Pruning Basics Workshop — 10 a.m., Saturday, March 7, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm (behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church), teacher Jud Kirkness, no preregistration required.
  • Growing and Fertilizing Rhubarb — 11 a.m., Saturday, March 14, at the home of Perry Edwards/Michelle Putz (131 Shelikof), teachers Perry Edwards and Michelle Putz, no preregistration required.
  • Starting Vegetable Seedlings Workshop — 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, Harrigan Centennial Hall, teacher Jennifer Carter, learn how to start seedlings and go home with a tray of planted seeds, class limited to 15 people, preregistration required.
  • Seed-Starting Basics — 2 p.m., Saturday, April 11, call for location (Michelle Putz, 747-2708), teacher Linda Wilson, class limited to 8-10 people, preregistration required.

These classes will kick off a year-long series of education classes on a variety of topics related to vegetable gardening in Sitka. Our garden mentor program classes also will be open to the public. For more information or to sign up for classes requiring preregistration, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

In addition, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service teaches several classes that can be accessed from Sitka. The UAF Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a five-session class on Feb. 3, 5, 10, 12, and 17 on starting and operating a specialty food business in Alaska, and it will host an online Alaska Master Gardener course from Feb. 17 through May 18. These also will be announced on our website when they become available.

• Winter/Spring 2015 garden education classes from the Sitka Local Foods Network (opens as PDF)

• Sitka Local Foods Network education committee to kick off 2015 with two beginning garden classes

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Do you want to garden in Sitka, but need to know the basics? The Sitka Local Foods Network education committee will kick off its 2015 schedule of classes with two free classes — Vegetable Gardening 101 and Choosing What Vegetables To Grow In Sitka.

Vegetable Gardening 101 is a beginner’s gardening class taught by Michelle Putz and Linda Wilson. The class is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Participants will learn everything they need to start an easy-to-grow vegetable garden in Sitka.

Choosing What Vegetables To Grow In Sitka is a beginner’s class taught by Lisa Sadleir-Hart and Maybelle Filler. It takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. In this class, which is for new gardeners and new-to-Sitka gardeners, participants will learn which vegetables grow well in Sitka, and which vegetables can be a struggle.

These two classes will kick off a year-long series of education classes on a variety of topics related to vegetable gardening in Sitka. In addition, our garden mentor program classes also will be open to the public. For more information, contact Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board thanks everyone for their Pick.Click.Give. donations

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Today (Thursday, Oct. 2) Alaskans began receiving their Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend checks, which are $1,884 this year. Recently, many Alaskans have chosen to share that wealth with state and local nonprofits through the Pick.Click.Give. program.

Your Sitka Local Foods Network joined the Pick.Click.Give. program this year, and we’d like to thank the 56 donors who pledged $2,900 to help us promote and encourage the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. We thank you for supporting the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners. You can learn more about your Sitka Local Foods Network at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

You also can support us by attending the Sitka Local Foods Network Harvest Fest fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Del Shirley Room upstairs in Allen Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. This event will feature a silent auction for a variety of food- and garden-related items and services. In addition, the Lexicon of Sustainability photos will be on display, we will give a short update on the state of local food in Sitka, there will be live music, light refreshments featuring local food will be served, and we will pour locally brewed beer (for those age 21 and older) and root beer from Baranof Island Brewing Company. This is a family oriented event, and there is a suggested donation of $5.

Again, we thank you for your support,

 

The Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors

President Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Vice President Michelle Putz, Secretary Beth Kindig, Treasurer Maybelle Filler, Webmaster Charles Bingham, Milt Fusselman, Matthew Jackson (and two vacant seats)

• Sitka Local Foods Network looks to fill vacancies on its board of directors

The 2014-15 Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors. Front row, from left, Suzan Hess, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Maybelle Filler. Back row, from left, Beth Kindig, Lauren Fetzer, Michelle Putz, and Charles Bingham. Not pictured are Jack Ozment, Milt Fusselman, and Rick Armstrong.

The 2014-15 Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors. Front row, from left, Suzan Hess, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, and Maybelle Filler. Back row, from left, Beth Kindig, Lauren Fetzer, Michelle Putz, and Charles Bingham. Not pictured are Jack Ozment, Milt Fusselman, and Rick Armstrong.

Are you interested in promoting and encouraging the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska? The Sitka Local Foods Network could use you on its board of directors.

The Sitka Local Foods Network currently has two vacancies on its nine-person board of directors, with the possibility of additional spots opening up in January.

Board members are concerned about increasing access to local food for all Sitka residents. They also are concerned about rising food prices in Sitka, and they want to advocate for more community and family gardens in Sitka.

Board members help direct the Sitka Local Foods Network, a non-profit that promotes the harvest and use of local food in Sitka. In addition to setting the focus of the group, board members also help on a wide variety of projects such as the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, and the Sitka Local Foods Network Education Committee. In addition, over the years our board members have supported community food-related projects such as the Blatchley Community Garden, Let’s Grow Sitka, the Sick-A-Waste compost project, the Sitka Community Food Assessment project, Sitka Fish-To-Schools, the Sitka fruit-tree-planting project, other school education projects and more.

To apply for a spot on the board, please fill out the attached application and submit it to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org. The Sitka Local Foods Network board is a working board, which means each board member also participates in one of our four focus groups (farmers market, fellowship farm, education committee, and greenhouse). For more information, contact Sitka Local Foods Network board president Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985.

Our current board members and the year their terms end are:

  • 2014 — Milt Fusselman, Charles Bingham, one vacant seat
  • 2015 — Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Michelle Putz, Maybelle Filler
  • 2016 — Beth Kindig, Matthew Jackson, one vacant seat

We also are looking to increase our pool of volunteers who will help out during the various projects hosted by the network each year (no formal application needed, just send us your name/contact info and what types of projects you enjoy).

The next Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, in the upstairs meeting room at the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. The board generally meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (with a brief finance committee meeting from 6-6:30 p.m.) on the second Monday of each month, except during the summer (June, July, August) when board members are busy working with the Sitka Farmers Market and St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors application

• Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors job description

• Sitka Local Foods Network to host six Sitka Farmers Markets in 2014

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets this year. The first of the six markets is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.), with the other markets on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6. From left are Sitka Local Foods Network board members Charles Bingham, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz, Sitka Farmers Market co-managers Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, vendors Linda Wilson and Pat Hanson, and helper D.J. Brincefield. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson).

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets this year. The first of the six markets is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.), with the other markets on July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6. From left are Sitka Local Foods Network board members Charles Bingham, Maybelle Filler and Michelle Putz, Sitka Farmers Market co-managers Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield, vendors Linda Wilson and Pat Hanson, and helper D.J. Brincefield. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson).

SitkaFarmersMarketSignThe Sitka Local Foods Network will host its seventh summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with six markets this year starting on June 28 and taking place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 6. The Sitka Farmers Markets give Sitka residents a chance to buy and sell locally produced food and crafts.

The Sitka Farmers Markets take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, July 12, July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, and Sept. 6 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked goods, locally made jams and jellies, live entertainment and music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun. We were the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons and Alaska Quest EBT for SNAP (food stamp) users. We also plan scheduled transportation from Sitka Tours for the last five markets (details coming soon), and don’t forget to support the Sitka Farmers Market in the I Love My Farmers Market Celebration (click logo) at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is a great way to connect with community members and support local entrepreneurs,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart said. “Circulating your dollars locally also has a multiplying effect and helps your neighbors.”

2014 Quest Flyer SitkaThe Sitka Farmers Market started as a community wellness project that came out of a health priority planning meeting at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. The markets are sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, the Alaska Farmers Market Association, the Alaska Division of Public Health Cancer Control Program, and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

“We are excited to have Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield working as a team as our new market co-managers,” Sadleir-Hart said. “Ellexis and Debe bring loads of enthusiasm and some new ideas to the market, and they are focused on creating a sustainable market that can be in Sitka for the duration. As always, the market will be a place to support the growing local food movement in Sitka and learn more about how to eat more sustainably.”

Vendor fees are $30 for a 6-foot table, $40 for an 8-foot table and $20 for a 4-foot table. Vendors with their own tents pay $5 per foot. As always, we offer cost incentives for vendors growing locally produced food. The fees will help us cover the costs of renting ANB Founders Hall and its kitchen, hiring musicians and other expenses. To learn more about being a vendor or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers, Ellexis Howey and Debe Brincefield at 738-8683 or by e-mail sitkafarmersmarket@gmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other info for potential vendors can be found on the Documents page at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.