• Sitka Local Foods Network selling seeds from Bountiful Gardens as fundraiser

Screenshot of Bountiful Gardens website

Screenshot of Bountiful Gardens website

Help support the Sitka Local Foods Network by purchasing organic seed varieties from Bountiful Gardens seed company that have been specially selected for our challenging climate by longtime Sitka gardener Jamie Chevalier.

There will be a serve-yourself seed rack at Old Harbor Books, with an honor-system donation jar for making change next to the seeds.

Among the seed varieties available will be cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, a variety of greens mixes, kale, lettuces, peas, radishes and summer squash. Seed supplies are limited for first come, first served.

Bountiful Gardens is an educational nonprofit organization that specializes in heirloom, untreated and open-pollinated varieties of seeds for sustainable agriculture. Bountiful Gardens also promotes the GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming concept, which helps gardeners make small plots of land productive sources for agriculture.

For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654.

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• Sitka gardeners to meet Tuesday, Jan. 19, at UAS

There will be an informal get together for interested Sitka gardeners from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in Room 106 at the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus on Japonski Island.

The get together provides a venue for gardeners of all types, interests and skills to informally exchange ideas, information, seeds and growing tips. Share and learn from other gardeners with no dues or commitments other than good fellowship.

Sitka gardeners plan to get together the third Tuesday of the month at the UAS-Sitka Campus. This month’s meeting is sponsored by UAS-Sitka Campus and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. For more information, call Cheryl Stromme at 747-9473 or Bob Gorman at 747-9413.

• The new Sitka Local Foods Network e-newsletter (Jan. 10)

Click here to read the current Sitka Local Foods Network e-newsletter courtesy of Linda Wilson. Don’t forget, you can sign up for the e-newsletter by typing your e-mail address in the “Join Our Mailing List” box on bottom of the left side of the page.

• Wanton waste of deer meat, a record high herring quota and other local foods stories in the news

Over the past couple of weeks, at least 10 Sitka black tail deer corpses have been found in Sitka with lots of edible meat still on the bone but the prime cuts missing. According to the Anchorage Daily News, state wildlife officials are searching for the hunters, and wanton waste charges may be coming for those involved. There were six deer found off Green Lake Road, then four deer were found near Harbor Mountain Road five days later.

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages the responsible and sustainable harvesting of traditional subsistence foods, such as deer, but we must respect the resource and use the entire animal. Not only is leaving edible meat in the field wasteful, but the last couple of years have been down years for deer survival and the actions of these wasteful hunters may mean fewer hunting opportunities next year for hunters who need the deer to feed their families. Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call Alaska Wildlife Troopers at 747-3254 or, to remain anonymous, Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377.

In other local foods news, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game established a record sac roe herring quota for the 2010 season, a quota of more than 18,000 tons (more than 4,000 tons higher than last year’s then-record quota). The commercial herring fleet is very happy with the higher quota, but KCAW-Raven Radio reports local subsistence gatherers worry that the record quota will harm their ability to gather herring eggs on hemlock branches, a popular subsistence and barter food for local Tlingít and Haida residents. They also worry two straight years of record quotas will hurt the resource, since herring also serves as a key forage food for salmon, halibut, whales, sea lions and other species in the region.

The Juneau Empire reported that the State of Alaska asked for an extension to reply to an inquiry on subsistence management from the federal government. The federal government took over some management of subsistence in Alaska more than a decade ago because state laws weren’t in compliance with the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which calls for a rural preference on subsistence in times of shortage, and the federal government may be expanding its role in subsistence management.

The Anchorage Daily News reported on Alaska pork being ready for the freezer at A.D. Farms, and that pork will be sold at the indoor farmers market at Anchorage’s Northway Mall. The story included a wrap-up of other local foods available at the market, and it had a recipe for crock-pot cod.

Laine Welch’s Alaska fishing column was about how more local fish is appearing in school lunch menus.

The Anchorage Daily News Alaska Newsreader feature reported on several Arctic travelers getting trichinosis from eating undercooked bear meat. The National Post of Canada also had a story on travelers eating undercooked bear meat, while the New York Times had an article about how trichinosis is common in bear meat that isn’t cooked properly.

The Anchorage Daily News had an article about how Alaska’s rhubarb probably first came from Russia.

Miller-McCune magazine had an article about how Alaska’s complex salmon politics can serve as a model for sustainable fisheries elsewhere in the world.

The Alaska Public Radio Network reported on a woman from Aniak, Dee Matter, who has taken freezing her food to a new level. The story also was on APRN’s Alaska News Nightly show.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner had a feature article about Kotzebue hunter and trapper Ross Schafer and the “Eskimo” way of life.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner had an article about a conflict between farmers and hunters over the future of the Delta bison herd.

The Juneau Empire ran a story about glaciers providing an important food source.

Anchorage Daily News garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels wrote about magazine gifts for gardeners.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an Associated Press article about Monsanto’s role in the business of agriculture, especially the way it squeezes out competitors in the seed industry.

Finally, the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences blog featured an article about a new study about food security challenges in Alaska.