• Sitka to host three-day Gathering in conjunction with two-week Introduction to Ethnobotany course

Salmonberries await picking near the entrance to Sitka National Historical Park

Salmonberries await picking near the entrance to Sitka National Historical Park

This month Sitka will host a two-week Introduction to Ethnobotany course on May 19-30, and as part of that course there will be a three-day UAF Kuskokwim Campus Ethnobotany Program All-Hands Gathering for stakeholders on May 29-31 held in conjunction with the class. As part of the Gathering, there will be a couple of events open to Sitka residents interested in ethnobotany and the uses of local plants.

The Gathering is sponsored by the Ethnobotany Certification Program of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus (Bethel), and the Gathering will serve as a chance for stakeholders (students, instructors, elders, colleagues) to to get together to celebrate the program’s first five years, plan the next five years, and network with each other.

The schedule is still being finalized, but the first public event will be on Thursday, May 29, when the 10 ethnobotany class students will make their presentations from 3-5 and 6-8 p.m. (with a break for a bring-your-own dinner) in Room 229 of the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus.

At 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 31, keynote speaker Anore Jones (author of Plants That We Eat) will  share her passion for traditional foods of the subarctic. This event will be at the Yaw Classroom at the Sitka Fine Arts Campus.

The Gathering will conclude at 5:30-9 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, with a community potluck dinner/local foods feast and Native dancing at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi. This event will feature a Native chant from our Hawaiian friends, vending tables, as well as music from the Sitka rock band Slack Tide. The Gathering will provide a main course, some desserts and beverages for this event, and people are encouraged to bring side dishes featuring local food.

For more information, contact Kuskokwim Campus Ethnobotany Program Coordinator Rose Meier, PhD, at 1-907-474-6935 (voice), 1-907-474-5952 (fax) or by email at rameier@alaska.edu.

EBOT Public Flyer final

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• Slack Tide to be special musical guest at the final Sitka Farmers Market of the season

The last Sitka Farmers Market of the summer will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, so the Sitka band Slack Tide will be the market’s special guest.

Slack Tide is rock and dance band that’s jamming Sitka style. The members of the group are Joe Montagna on guitar and vocals, Jen Reid on vocals, “Pignose Bob” Jacobs on guitar and vocals, Peter Apathy on bass and Colin Herforth on drums.

Also, don’t forget the Sitka Farmers Market now accepts Alaska Quest electronic benefit cards and debit cards. You can use these cards to purchase tokens, which you then can spend with participating vendors at the market. Look for the Sitka Local Foods Network booth inside ANB Hall for more details.

In addition, we always need volunteers to help us set up before the market and to take down the market after we’re done. Please contact Sitka Farmers Market coordinator Johanna Willingham at 738-8336 if you’re interested in helping out.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Running of the Boots fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Crescent Harbor Shelter. Race registration is at 10 a.m., costume judging is at 10:30 a.m., and the race starts at 11 a.m. Paint up your Xtratuf boots and get your costumes ready for this fun event that’s great for kids and families. We will have a booth or two selling late-season produce at this event. Watch for more details coming soon.