• Sitka Economic Development Association to host Sitka Seafood Innovation Summit

INVITATION SSIS poster_web

The Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA) invites anyone interested in developing the opportunities of our local and regional seafood industry to attend the Sitka Seafood Innovation Summit at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, in the Sheet’ka Kwáan Naa Kahídi.

Presenters will provide examples of some innovative products and processes now being developed and marketed. Learn how the Iceland Ocean Cluster model is working, and how Iceland, despite a 60 percent reduction in their codfish harvest, has used innovation to increase the value of each pound of fish harvested by more than 400 percent.

Want to learn more? Then come to this free event sponsored and hosted by the Sitka Economic Development Association. For more information, contact Garry White, 747-2660.

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• Meet your vendors: Linda Wilson of Seaview Garden and Jewelry Arte

LindaWilson

SitkaFarmersMarketSign(This is part of a new series of “Meet your vendors” articles, where Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel is writing features about our regular Sitka Farmers Market vendors.) 

Taking a stroll through this summer’s Sitka Farmers Markets, several perfectly baked rhubarb pies may have caught your eye. Outside in the tent next to the Sitka Local Foods Network produce tent, stood the talented gardener and craftswoman Linda Wilson, a Sitka local for the past three decades who owns Seaview Garden and Jewelry Arte.

Wilson’s father was in the USDA Forest Service. Wilson was raised in California until the age of 6, when her family moved to Ketchikan. A few years later, her father moved the family to Sitka and then to Juneau for his work. Wilson attended high school in Juneau, but yearned to be back in Sitka where they had bought a house in 1975 out on Halibut Point Road. The family returned to Sitka after Wilson’s father retired from the USDA Forest Service in 1982. Wilson lost both her mother and her brother to illnesses, and has been taking care of her father in Sitka since his retirement.

LindaWilsonWithZucchiniIn Sitka, Wilson fell into gardening, because outside of the house is where she felt she had the most control and freedom. Inside the house was dad’s territory. She ripped out her salmonberry bushes in 2004, and learned how to grow broccoli when she met Florence Welsh. Today, she grows carrots, snap peas, greens including kale, collard, and lettuce, and rhubarb. She loves composting and mostly uses coffee grounds and spent grains. At the Sitka Farmers Markets, she sold collard greens and delicious pies. Strawberry-rhubarb is her favorite.

This year, she has been growing zucchini and tomato plants inside her newly established high tunnel via a NRCS grant. She thanks those in the community who helped her put up the high tunnel, and particularly market vendor Kerry MacLane’s instrumental assistance. Even though she has retired from the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors, Linda was one of the original board members. She also was one of the first managers of the Sitka Farmers Market, and she organized the first Let’s Grow, Sitka! education event.

LindaWilsonWithPieWilson loves making homemade pizza from scratch with homegrown tomatoes, onions, sliced zucchini, nasturtiums, broccoli, garlic, and basil. She says, “I grow tomatoes because it’s a challenge, and I’m gonna get it.” She also makes a mean pesto with carrot top greens. When she produces an overabundance of produce, she donates to the Salvation Army.

She loves to go mushroom foraging, and also picks berries to make a variety of jams. Her favorite is blueberry-huckleberry jam.

From 1985 until 2007, Wilson managed one of the local gift shops in town, where they sold authentic Russian imports. From 2003 to 2006, she also worked on a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea where she lectured on Russian arts and crafts, knowledge she had gained while managing the gift shop. Today, she works part-time with the Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA), takes care of her father, and makes beautiful sculpted wire jewelry with gemstones.

Every February, Wilson makes a two-week trip down to one of the biggest jewelry shows in the world. She has attended the show 12 out of the past 13 years. Her favorite stones are fossils: coral, ammonites, and sand dollars, because, she says, “They used to be living.” She has a rock shop in her house where she houses her jewelry making studio with beautiful stones and lapidary equipment including a slab saw, trim saw, grinder, and rock tumbler, throughout. “Nature makes amazing things.”

LindaWilsonsJewelryWhen she is not out in the garden, tending to her father, or making jewelry, Wilson loves “petting kitty bellies.” They have two cats, Spike and Sandy, at home, though many more are buried out back. “Serving as compost,” Wilson jokes.

If you don’t see her at the Sitka Farmers Market, make sure to check out Linda Wilson’s beautiful jewelry at the Island Artists Gallery, an artists cooperative on Lincoln Street. Her jewelry makes great gifts for yourself, family members, and friends.

• Sitka Local Foods Network to host board of directors meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3 (Meeting changed to Monday, Sept. 9)

The 2013 Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors, from left, Jack Ozment, Beth Kindig, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Tess Giant, William Giant, Linda Wilson, and Milt Fusselman. Not pictured are Cathy Lieser and Maybelle Filler.

The 2013 Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors, from left, Jack Ozment, Beth Kindig, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Tess Giant, William Giant, Linda Wilson, and Milt Fusselman. Not pictured are Cathy Lieser and Maybelle Filler.

Now that the summer is winding down, the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA) conference room (329 Lincoln St., Suite 212, in the Troutt Building, enter off Lincoln Street using the stairway next to Seasons Cards and Gifts). Please note that this is a change from our normal board meeting location, now that we have an expanded board of directors. (NOTE, due to schedule conflicts and illness, this meeting was postponed until Monday, Sept. 9, at the same times and location)

This is the board’s first monthly meeting since June, and the meeting is expected to last until 8:30 p.m. A preliminary budget meeting takes place at 6:15 p.m. Board president Lisa Sadleir-Hart will lead the meeting.

Key topics include the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, Blatchley Community Gardens, the Sitka Community Food Assessment, the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, the Alaska Food Policy Council, the Running of the Boots fundraiser on Sept. 28 and more.

Board meetings are free and open to the general public. We always welcome new volunteers interested in helping out with our various projects.

• Tuesday’s Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors meeting moved to larger location

The Tuesday, May 14, meeting of the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors has been moved to the offices of the Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA) conference room, which is located on the second floor of the Troutt Building (329 Harbor Drive, Suite 212, or you can enter off Lincoln Street above Seasons Card Shop). The meeting is from 6:30-8 p.m. (with a brief budget update at 6:15 p.m.).

Agenda items include updates on St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, the Sitka Farmers Market, the Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center, board member recruitment, Blatchley Community Garden, and other projects. Our meetings are open to the general public.

• Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting time and location changed for Monday, May 3

The 2009-10 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Back row, from left, Doug Osborne, Linda Wilson, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Natalie Sattler, Peggy Reeves and Maybelle Filler. Front row, from left, Lynnda Strong, Kerry MacLane and Suzan Brawnlyn. Not pictured, Tom Crane.

The 2009-10 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. Back row, from left, Doug Osborne, Linda Wilson, Lisa Sadleir-Hart, Natalie Sattler, Peggy Reeves and Maybelle Filler. Front row, from left, Lynnda Strong, Kerry MacLane and Suzan Brawnlyn. Not pictured, Tom Crane.

The time and location have been changed for this month’s meeting Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors. The meeting now will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 3, at the Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA)/Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce conference room on the second floor of the Troutte Center Building on Lincoln Street (above Seasons card store).

Some of the agenda items for this meeting include Sitka Farmers Market planning, an update from the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden, information about a new garden at U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka, an update on the 2010 farmers market vendor requirements for the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) supplemental food program, an update on the two presentations by nationally known gardener/author Ed Hume on Monday, May 31, and information about the state response to a request to lease some empty Mt. Edgecumbe High School land for a community greenhouse.

The Sitka Local Foods Network board meetings are open to the public and we welcome new volunteers who want to help with our projects. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 752-0654 or maclanekerry@yahoo.com, or Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings or weekends only) or lawilson87@hotmail.com.

Suggested agenda for May 3, 2010, meeting of the Sitka Local Foods Network Board of Directors

• Group to meet about organizing a Sitka Seafood Festival this summer

Black cod (aka sablefish) on the grill from the Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association booth at the Sitka Farmers Market

Black cod (aka sablefish) on the grill from the Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association booth at the Sitka Farmers Market

A group in Sitka will meet at 6 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, March 24, at the Sitka Economic Development Association’s conference room (second floor of the Troutte Center building on Lincoln Street, the Sitka Chamber of Commerce office above Seasons card store) to plan the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival.

The group first met on Saturday afternoon, March 20, to brainstorm ideas for the event. The group discussed the event’s mission, name, slogan location, music, the scope of the event (just salmon or multi species, very local or grander scale, etc.), committees, funding, event partners and other organizational aspects. Suggestions from the first meeting included having local and/or regional chefs provide cooking demonstrations, honoring the life cycle of the salmon (or featured species of the year), etc. The tentative dates for the first Sitka Seafood Festival are Aug. 6-8, 2010.

If you have any questions about the Sitka Seafood Festival, contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@yahoo.com. (Editor’s note: The next Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, at the Sitka Economic Development Association office in the Troutte Center building on Lincoln Street.)

Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee meeting notes from March 20, 2010

Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee meeting agenda, March 24, 2010

Chohla Moll grabs some sockeye salmon out of the brine mixture so she can hang it in the smoker.

• Special board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, for the Sitka Local Foods Network

There was too much business to get through during the regular board meeting of the Sitka Local Foods Network on Monday, Jan. 4, so a special board meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Sitka Economic Development Association (SEDA) conference room upstairs in the Troutte Center building on Lincoln Street. Here is the suggested agenda.

Sitka Local Foods Network
January 12, 2010, Board Meeting Agenda
5-7 p.m.  SEDA Meeting Room

* Approve Minutes of Last Meeting
* Review Mission Statement and Goals
* President’s Report: Turning Point; from volunteers to staff
* Standing reports
___o 501(c)(3) and financial update (Kerry)
___o Education/Let’s Grow Sitka update (Linda W.)
___o Sitka Farmers Market update/Educational Programs (Linda & Kerry)
___o St. Peter’s Fellowship farm update (Doug & Lisa)
___o Sitka Community Greenhouse update (workgroup – see minutes)
* Old Business
___o t-shirt update (Natalie & Peggy)
___o Ed Hume fundraiser (Maybelle – Lisa will bring her report; need approval of board to go ahead)
___o Earth day/Shane Smith
* New Business
___o Turning Point (Kerry);
___o Motion to support a CSA by inviting Hope and Florence to sign people up at the ‘Let’s Grow Sitka’ event.
___o  Island Institute Humanities project focused on sustainability
___o Other?