• Scenes from the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer

Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Lori Adams of Down-To-Earth U-Pick Garden at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Lori has been selling fresh produce, jams and jellies, and her local book on gardening at the Sitka Farmers Market for several years. She received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh rhubarb, a pair of earrings, a dozen eggs, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. Check our website to learn about our new bus service to the market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Lori Adams of Down-To-Earth U-Pick Garden at the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Lori has been selling fresh produce, jams and jellies, and her local book on gardening at the Sitka Farmers Market for several years. She received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh rhubarb, a pair of earrings, a dozen eggs, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. Check our website to learn about our new bus service to the market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignLori Adams of Down-To-Earth U-Pick Garden won Table of the Day during the fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer, which took place on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St.

National Farmers Market Week was Aug. 3-9, so several Sitka residents celebrated by attending the Sitka Farmers Market. We wound up with a bit of rainy weather for this market, but we still had a nice crowd and some new booths. We also enjoyed the third market with our new bus service from Sitka Tours. This free service will be available at all of the rest of our markets this summer.

The fifth Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, at ANB Founders Hall. A slideshow with scenes from the fourth market is below.

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• Scenes from the third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer

Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Pat Hanson, second from right, of Hanson Baked Goods while Jim Hanson, second from left, and friend Taylor Ihde look on at the second Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Pat has been selling homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and scones at the Sitka Farmers Market for a couple of years. She received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh rhubarb, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. This week, Aug. 3-9, is National Farmers Market Week, so celebrate by coming to the Sitka Farmers Market. Check our website to learn about our new bus service to the market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

Sitka Farmers Market Co-Managers Debe Brincefield, left, and Ellexis Howey, right, present the Table Of The Day Award to Pat Hanson, second from right, of Hanson Baked Goods while Jim Hanson, second from left, and friend Taylor Ihde look on at the third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall in Sitka. Pat has been selling homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and scones at the Sitka Farmers Market for a couple of years. She received a gift bag with fresh greens, fresh rhubarb, and a copy of the Alaska Farmers Market Cookbook. This is the seventh year of Sitka Farmers Markets, hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St. This week, Aug. 3-9, is National Farmers Market Week, so celebrate by coming to the Sitka Farmers Market. Check our website to learn about our new bus service to the market. For more information about the Sitka Farmers Markets and Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, or check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork. (PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK)

SitkaFarmersMarketSignPat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods won Table of the Day during the third Sitka Farmers Market of the 2014 summer, which took place on Saturday, July 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall, 235 Katlian St.

We wound up with a bit of rainy weather for this market, but we still had a nice crowd and some new booths. We also enjoyed the second market with our new bus service from Sitka Tours. This free service will be available at all of the rest of our markets this summer.

The fourth Sitka Farmers Market of the season takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at ANB Founders Hall. This week, Aug. 3-9, is National Farmers Market Week, so celebrate by attending the Sitka Farmers Market. To learn more, watch this site for updates. A slideshow with scenes from the third market is below.

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• Celebrate National Farmers Market Week by going to the Sitka Farmers Market on Saturday

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK  Sitka Farmers Market representative and Sitka Conservation Society community sustainability organizer Tracy Gagnon, second from left, presents Sitka Spruce Catering owner Jeren Schmidt, third from left (with daughter Novah Lee Schmidt in backpack), with the table of the day award as Jeren's co-workers Tam Conatser, left, and Linda Bergdoll-Schmidt, right, watch. The table of the day award was for the second Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka, Alaska. Sitka Spruce Catering uses locally grown veggies, herbs and other local products to create the food it provides through its catering operation. Jeren, Tam and Linda received a tote bag full of bread, veggies and other prizes from the market. The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, at ANB Hall. To learn more about the Sitka Farmers Market and other Sitka Local Foods Network projects, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SITKA LOCAL FOODS NETWORK Sitka Farmers Market representative and Sitka Conservation Society community sustainability organizer Tracy Gagnon, second from left, presents Sitka Spruce Catering owner Jeren Schmidt, third from left (with daughter Novah Lee Schmidt in backpack), with the table of the day award as Jeren's co-workers Tam Conatser, left, and Linda Bergdoll-Schmidt, right, watch. The table of the day award was for the second Sitka Farmers Market of the summer on Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka, Alaska. Sitka Spruce Catering uses locally grown veggies, herbs and other local products to create the food it provides through its catering operation. Jeren, Tam and Linda received a tote bag full of bread, veggies and other prizes from the market. The next Sitka Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, at ANB Hall. To learn more about the Sitka Farmers Market and other Sitka Local Foods Network projects, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.

Aug. 7-13 is National Farmers Market Week this year, as declared by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, so celebrate the week by attending the Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.).

Farmers markets are a great way to connect with the community, while also purchasing local produce, wild fish, locally baked bread and arts and crafts. Besides providing access to fresh local produce, farmers markets create strong economic engines in communities, promote local health and bring a diverse group of people together. They also help consumers meet and get to know the people who produce their food.

“The Sitka Farmers Market serves as a family friendly place for people to meet and to visit with other members of the community,” said Sitka Local Foods Network Vice-President Linda Wilson, who also serves as the Sitka Farmers Market manager. “Some people spend an hour or two just going around mingling with folks and chatting, catching up on the local news, telling jokes, and sharing ideas and information. There is a lot of good energy around during the market.”

Farmers markets have been growing nationally, from 2,863 in 2000 to 7,175 in 2011, a jump of 150 percent. While Alaska doesn’t have as many farmers markets as other states, it did have the highest percentage of new markets in the country last year, up 35 markets in 2011 or 46 percent. The national rate of new market growth was 17 percent.

This Saturday will be the third of five full Sitka Farmers Markets this summer, with the schedule running on alternate Saturdays (July 16, 30, Aug. 13, 27 and Sept. 10). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, 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 are the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons. You also can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest by following the links at https://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2011/07/06/%E2%80%A2-don%E2%80%99t-forget-to-vote-for-the-sitka-farmers-market-in-this-year%E2%80%99s-america%E2%80%99s-favorite-farmers-markets-contest/.

For more information about the market or hosting a booth, contact Sitka Farmers Market Manager Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings or weekends) or lawilson87@hotmail.com. By the way, we always need volunteers to help set up and take down the market before and after the event. Your help is greatly appreciated.

• Saturday’s Sitka Farmers Market leads into National Farmers Market Week

SitkaFarmersMarketSign

This Saturday’s second Sitka Farmers Market of the season will serve as the perfect lead-in for National Farmers Market Week next week.

The Sitka Farmers Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.) and in the adjoining parking lot owned by the Baranof Island Housing Authority. Recently U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed Aug. 2-8 of this year as the 10th annual National Farmers Market Week.

“Farmers markets are good for everyone,” says Stacy Miller, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a non-profit organization supporting farmers markets across the country. “They are good for your health, good for your community and good for the economy. Not to mention, farmers markets offer the freshest foods from America’s most entrepreneurial farmers and they preserve our country’s agricultural traditions.”

“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 started last year as a project from the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. We hosted three successful markets last year, and this year we have five on the schedule with Saturday’s being the second of the summer. Even though the Sitka Farmers Markets are new, they’ve quickly become community gathering points whenever they’re held, and ANB Hall is packed with people.

The Sitka Farmers Market features about 20-25 vendors each market who sell locally grown produce, locally harvested fish and locally made arts and crafts. Local musicians perform on the stage inside 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 a nominal $5 each, but the emphasis is on locally produced food and arts and crafts. 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.

Click this link to learn more about the Farmers Market Coalition and why farmers markets are becoming more important in America.

The Gimbal Botanicals booth at the July 18 first Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

The Gimbal Botanicals booth at the July 18 first Sitka Farmers Market of the season.

Cindy Westergaard sells plants at the July 18 Sitka Farmers Market

Cindy Westergaard sells plants at the July 18 Sitka Farmers Market