• Sitka Seafood Festival adds cruise to Medvejie Hatchery for a tour and salmon bake to its list of events

On Saturday, Aug. 7, the Sitka Conservation Society is offering a Tongass summer boat cruise as part of the Sitka Seafood Festival. This boat trip will be traveling to Medvejie Hatchery for a tour of the hatchery and a salmon bake provided by the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA). The trip will depart at 11 a.m. and return at 2 p.m. Boarding begins at 10:45 a.m. at Crescent Harbor.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased with cash or check at Old Harbor Books or at the Crescent Harbor loading dock at the time of the cruise. It is suggested that tickets be purchased in advance to assure participation. Food is not provided on the short boat ride to the hatchery, but hot beverages are complimentary. Binoculars are available on board for all.

King salmon fillets and baked potatoes cook over an open fire at an open house and salmon bake hosted by Medvejie Hatchery on July 10, 2010.

King salmon fillets and baked potatoes cook over an open fire at an open house and salmon bake hosted by Medvejie Hatchery on July 10, 2010.

This boat cruise is part of the Sitka Seafood Festival, a celebration of seafood as a wild and sustainable resource. This trip will head to Silver Bay and the Medvejie Hatchery to learn more about the multitude of seafood available in Sitka and the role different species play in our local ecosystems. Steve Reifenstuhl, General Manager of NSRAA (the non-profit that runs the hatchery), will be on board as a guest speaker. He will speak about Alaska and Southeast fisheries and the role of aquaculture in these fisheries. For more information on the Sitka Seafood Festival visit: http://sitkaseafoodfestival.org/

Allen Marine offers these boat trips at a reduced rate for non-profits. Please call 747-7509 or e-mail natalie@sitkawild.org for more information on this boat trip or others offered by the Sitka Conservation Society.

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 6-7 at the Crescent Harbor shelter, Harrigan Centennial Hall and other parts of Sitka. A tentative schedule of events is posted below. Feel free to print it out and post it on local bulletin boards.

The Sitka Seafood Festival is Aug. 6-7, and the guest chef is Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, who will prepare a gourmet seafood meal on Friday night with the assistance of several local chefs. Entertainment for the festival will be provided by the bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles (brought to Sitka with the help of Sitka Folk) and the four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes.” The basic format of the event features a special dinner on Friday night with a variety of educational events, seafood booths and entertainment all day Saturday. Click on the poster link below for more details.

Also, don’t forget the beer tasting and smoked salmon contest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Westmark Sitka. This fundraising event costs $30, and there will be live music, treats from Chef Jo, a variety of beers to sample from local distributors and a chance to win the prizes in the best smoked salmon contest. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest (which is deducted from your admission), and participants receive five pounds of salmon to smoke. For more details about the contest, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival site or contact Molly Andrews at (509) 953-9509 or molly@sitkawild.org.

And don’t forget the Sitka Seafood Festival art and logo contest, so put on your thinking cap and send your camera-ready art entries to 411 Hemlock St., Sitka, AK, 99835, by Aug. 1. There will be a prize for the winning logo. Also, bring your seafood-, ocean- or marine-themed art to the art show Aug. 7 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821 or e-mail sitkaarts@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845. Volunteers still are needed, and some of the lists of duties are posted below with the current list of volunteers.

• Press release about Sitka Seafood Festival cruise to Medvejie Hatchery

• Sitka Seafood Festival schedule poster (opens as PDF document)

• Sitka Seafood Festival details (talking points)

• Sitka Seafood Festival final sponsors list

• Sitka Seafood Festival list of volunteers for Friday night’s banquet dinner

• Sitka Seafood Festival list of volunteers for Saturday’s events

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• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet Monday night (July 26)

The Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday night, July 26, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Pizza and drinks will be supplied.

There will be a quick meeting at 6 p.m. at Harrigan Centennial Hall for those people willing to volunteer to help serve or in the kitchen during the Friday, Aug. 6, banquet dinner event. Please try to attend if you are able to make this. If you are interested in helping but can not attend this meeting, please let Alicia Peavey know so she can finalize the volunteer list.

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 6-7 at the Crescent Harbor shelter, Harrigan Centennial Hall and other parts of Sitka. A tentative schedule of events is posted below. Feel free to print it out and post it on local bulletin boards.

The Sitka Seafood Festival is Aug. 6-7, and the guest chef is Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, who will prepare a gourmet seafood meal on Friday night with the assistance of several local chefs. Entertainment for the festival will be provided by the bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles and the four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes.” The basic format of the event features a special dinner on Friday night with a variety of educational events, seafood booths and entertainment all day Saturday. Click on the poster link below for more details.

Also, don’t forget the beer tasting and smoked salmon contest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Westmark Sitka. This fundraising event costs $30, and there will be live music, treats from Chef Jo, a variety of beers to sample from local distributors and a chance to win the prizes in the best smoked salmon contest. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest (which is deducted from your admission), and participants receive five pounds of salmon to smoke. For more details about the contest, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival site or contact Molly Andrews at (509) 953-9509 or molly@sitkawild.org.

And don’t forget the Sitka Seafood Festival art and logo contest, so put on your thinking cap and send your camera-ready art entries to 411 Hemlock St., Sitka, AK, 99835, by Aug. 1. There will be a prize for the winning logo. Also, bring your seafood-, ocean- or marine-themed art to the art show Aug. 7 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821 or e-mail sitkaarts@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845.

• Sitka Seafood Festival schedule poster (opens as PDF document)

• Sitka Seafood Festival details (talking points)

• Sitka Seafood Festival sponsors list (please send any corrections to Alicia Peavey)

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet on Monday (July 19)

The Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 19, at Harrigan Centennial Hall to solidify plans and other arrangements for the first-year event.

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 6-7 at the Crescent Harbor shelter, Harrigan Centennial Hall and other parts of Sitka. A tentative schedule of events is posted below. Feel free to print it out and post it on local bulletin boards.

The guest chef for the Sitka Seafood Festival is Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, with entertainment provided by the bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles and the four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes.” The basic format of the event features a special dinner on Friday night with a variety of educational events, seafood booths and entertainment all day Saturday. Click on the poster link below for more details.

Also, don’t forget the beer tasting and smoked salmon contest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Westmark Sitka. This fundraising event costs $30, and there will be live music, treats from Chef Jo, a variety of beers to sample from local distributors and a chance to win the prizes in the best smoked salmon contest. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest (which is deducted from your admission), and participants receive five pounds of salmon to smoke. For more details about the contest, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival site or contact Molly Andrews at (509) 953-9509 or molly@sitkawild.org.

And don’t forget the Sitka Seafood Festival art and logo contest, so put on your thinking cap and send your camera-ready art entries to 411 Hemlock St., Sitka, AK, 99835, by Aug. 1. There will be a prize for the winning logo. Also, bring your seafood-, ocean- or marine-themed art to the art show Aug. 7 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821 or e-mail sitkaarts@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845.

• Sitka Seafood Festival schedule poster (opens as PDF document)

• Sitka Seafood Festival details (talking points)

• Sitka Seafood Festival sponsors list (please send any corrections to Alicia Peavey)

• Sitka Seafood Festival to hold picnic with Monday’s steering committee meeting

The next meeting of the Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee will feature a picnic in addition to the business part of the meeting. The picnic should help spice up the planning process and boost attendance.

The next steering committee meeting takes place at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 28, at Halibut Point Recreation Area’s main shelter. Participants should bring their own drinks and side dishes. Hamburgers and sausage will be provided.

“We have a few important things to cover, but would just like to get everyone together and get excited about this event that is soon approaching again,” Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee chairperson Alicia Peavey said. “Thanks for everyone’s hard work, I really appreciate it and I do think the festival is going to be amazing thanks to all of you!”

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival takes place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and various other places around Sitka. The guest chef is Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, with entertainment provided by the bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles and the four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes.” The basic format of the event features a special dinner on Friday night with a variety of educational events, seafood booths and entertainment all day Saturday.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845. The minutes from the June 22 Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee meeting are posted below. The steering committee also will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Sitka Seafood Festival minutes from the June 22, 2010, steering committee meeting

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet June 22

The Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Each of the steering committee’s smaller committees should have held meetings since the large group met in May, and those updates will be discussed at this meeting. The Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 6-7 at Harrigan Centennial Hall and other locations around Sitka.

Chef Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage shows off an entrée featuring fresh Alaska yelloweye rockfish (Alaska Journal of Commerce photo by Rob Stapleton)

Chef Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage shows off an entrée featuring fresh Alaska yelloweye rockfish (Alaska Journal of Commerce photo by Rob Stapleton)

In other news, the Sitka Seafood Festival has chosen a guest chef — Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, who has been featured in the Alaska Journal of Commerce for his extensive use of local foods at the restaurant. During the festival, Robert will be the featured chef for Friday night’s banquet and he will have a booth set up during Saturday’s festivities. Robert is currently filming a “Web-A-Thon” and has a professional camera crew that he would like to bring here to cover some of the festival. The Sitka Seafood Festival is in need of Alaska Airline miles to help bring the chef, his family and the filming crew to Sitka for the festival. While in Sitka, the camera crew may be available to film other projects related to fishing or tourism. If you can help the Sitka Seafood Festival out with air miles, send an e-mail to sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com or contact Alicia Peavey at 1-928-607-4845.

Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee minutes from May 20, 2010

• Local foods a topic of several Alaska news stories over the past week or so

This has been an interesting couple of weeks, with food security being discussed at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention, subsistence rights and responsibilities in the news and other stories highlighting the local foods market in Alaska.

The Alaska Public Radio Network ran a story about food security being a hot topic at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. One element of the discussion was a report from former state Sen. Kim Elton, now is the Interior Department’s senior advisor for Alaska Affairs, who said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to upgrade subsistence management for the coming decades.

The Alaska Public Radio Network also ran a story (from KRBD-FM in Ketchikan) about an invasive plant species conference in Ketchikan and how to prevent the spread of noxious and invasive plants in Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner ran an article about how food grown in gardens on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus is finding its way onto the plates of UAF students at the Lola Tilly Commons.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce had an article about how wild plant seeds from Alaska are being stored at the Kew Gardens Millennium Seed Bank (aka the Royal Botanical Gardens) southwest of London.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce also had an article about Anchorage chef Robert Kineen of Orso Ristorante and how he is incorporating more local foods into his menus.

This week’s issue of the Alaska Journal of Commerce also has several articles about various fisheries, from whitefish to salmon to crab. Included in the issue is an article about how wild-caught Alaska salmon and Pacific cod made the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s recent listing of “super green” seafoods because of their health benefits, the sustainable ways the fish are harvested and lack of contamination. Here is a link to the full list from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Seafood.

Former Anchorage Daily News Outdoors Editor Craig Medred, who now writes for the Alaska Dispatch Web site, wrote this column about how some hunters have lost their connection to the culture of hunting.

The Alaska Dispatch also had an article about tough times at the Triple D Farm and Hatchery in Palmer. The turkey farm was made infamous during a KTUU-TV interview of then-Gov. Sarah Palin video last year, when she was pardoning a turkey as a worker in the background was butchering other turkeys (a link to the video is with the story).

The Anchorage Daily News also ran an obituary for Lawrence Clark, 94, aka “The Apple Man,” who was one of the leading apple tree growers in the Anchorage area and a member of the Alaska Pioneer’s Fruit Growers Association. Clark also was able to grow apricots on his land in the Rabbit Creek area south of Anchorage.

The Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market blog posted this essay about sustainable agriculture in Alaska from Mike Emers, the owner of Rosie Creek Farm in the Fairbanks bedroom community of Ester (Rosie Creek Farm is the northernmost certified organic farm in the country). Emers writes about how he wouldn’t have imagined his life’s direction 10-20 years ago, and how becoming a farmer is such a departure for someone who comes from a long line of Jewish tailors. By the way, while you’re done reading Emers’ essay, check out the rest of the Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market site. This is a project to build a market specializing in local foods for the Fairbanks area.

Finally, here is an article from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service about whether or not there are regions in the country that have lost their ability to feed themselves. The article focuses on a county-by-county study in the northeast part of the U.S. about what local foods currently are available, but it sounds like similar studies are taking place across the country.