Sitka Kitch to host online class on starting a cottage foods business

Learn what the basics of starting and running a cottage foods business as Sarah Lewis teaches students how to Start a Cottage Foods Business from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, via Zoom.

This class is a fundraiser for the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, and also is designed to help vendors prepare for the upcoming Sitka Farmers Markets hosted by the Sitka Local Foods Network.

Sarah Lewis — the home, health and family development agent for the Juneau office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service — will teach this class by videoconference from Juneau. Students will learn about state laws regarding home food businesses, and get ideas for businesses you might take to the Sitka Farmers Market or local trade shows. The first hour will be spent discussing rules and regulations, and the second part of the class will be for questions and answers.

The class fee is $10, and the funds go to the Sitka Kitch. Class space is limited, so register early. The registration deadline for this class is 11 p.m. on Monday, June 13. The Sitka Local Foods Network is offering students of this class half off their Sitka Farmers Market vendor fee for the first market of the season where they host a table. Representatives from the Sitka Local Foods Network/Sitka Farmers Market and (hopefully) the Sitka food safety office of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation are planning to attend so they can answer any questions potential cottage foods business owners may have.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Kylee Jones of the Sitka Conservation Society at 907-747-7509 or info@sitkawild.org to arrange payment. For more information about the class, contact Jasmine Shaw at the UAF Cooperative Extension Service Sitka District Office at 907-747-9440.

The Sitka Kitch is supported in partnership by Sitka Conservation Society with UAF Cooperative Extension Service. These classes are fundraisers for the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service offers April gardening workshops in Sitka

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has added two new April classes to a series of in-person gardening workshops in Sitka that started in March.

Two classes have been announced for the end April, one on building a colorful container of flowers and another on using soil amendments. More classes for May may be announced later. The classes have various costs, but materials are provided. Masks are required for indoor classes. Space is limited on all classes, so register early.

The classes scheduled so far are:

  • Create Some Color With Garden Ventures — Thursday, April 17, 6-7 p.m.; Penny Brown, owner of Garden Ventures Nursery, will lead a hands-on workshop for how to design your own planter full of colorful flowers. She will also give a short presentation on the topic. This class is $30 and takes place at Garden Ventures, 4013 Halibut Point Road. You can register here.
  • Soil Amendments and Rototiller Fun — Saturday, April 23, 10-11:30 a.m.; In this workshop you will learn what you can to help build soil nutrition, revitalize garden beds with depleted soil, make a little fertilizer to take home, and try your hand at a rototiller. This workshop is taught by Kitty LaBounty and Andrea Fraga at a location TBA. The cost is $10. You can register here.

For more information and to register, email jdshaw2@alaska.edu or call 907-747-9440.

The Garden Show returns to KCAW-Raven Radio spring programming lineup for 31st year

For 31 years, Mollie Kabler and Kitty LaBounty have taken to the KCAW-Raven Radio airwaves during the spring months to broadcast The Garden Show.

They’ve already recorded two shows this year, and the Garden Show will have a regular 9:30-10 a.m. slot on Fridays. Since this week is KCAW’s spring pledge drive, the show will take pace from 9-10 a.m. on Friday, April 8. Kitty also has a regular music show (Hometown Brew) from 2-4 p.m. on Thursdays, and in the past the half-hour Garden Shows sometimes took place during her program.

Garden Show topics include timely tasks for gardening in Southeast Alaska, taking on-air questions, and themes around basic and more advanced gardening of vegetables, flowers, fruit, trees, etc. The station’s website has links to previous shows.

Mollie and Kitty have been gardening in Sitka for more than 30 years each, and they also have significant gardening experience from their childhoods in Wisconsin (Mollie) and Oregon (Kitty). They both are certified as Master Gardeners, after completing the class series offered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.

To call the show with gardening questions, call 747-5877 and ask to be connected to the show.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service to offer gardening workshops in Sitka

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will offer a series of in-person gardening workshops in Sitka starting in March.

Two classes have been announced for the end of March, one on tree-pruning and one on seed-starting, and more classes for April will be announced later. The classes cost $10 each, with materials provided. Masks are required for indoor classes. Space is limited, so register early.

The classes scheduled so far are:

  • Tree Pruning WorkshopSaturday, March 19, 8:30-10 a.m.; A workshop on pruning fruit trees, demonstration, instruction and a chance to practice are taught by Jud Kirkness. The location will be emailed to registrants.
  • Seed Starting and Seed SwapSaturday, March 26, 10-11:30 a.m.; Kitty LaBounty and Jasmine Shaw lead a hands-on workshop on seed starting on the UAS Sitka Campus. Students will be able to start seeds to take home. All materials will be provided. Students also can take seeds to swap with others.

For more information and to register, email jdshaw2@alaska.edu or call 907-747-9440.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower training scheduled for April 25-26

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extensive Service are planning a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training in April.

This free training takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, April 25-26, using Zoom. Registration closes on Monday, April 11.

This Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved course will satisfy the grower training curriculum requirements under the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. There is no charge for class participants. Funding is provided by a FDA-State of Alaska Cooperative Agreement. Growers who attend all seven modules of the course will receive a FREE Certificate of Course Completion. The workshop is open to all interested growers. Please see the attached flyer for more information. Space will be limited, so pre-registration is required. Contact Dena at dena.cologgi@alaska.gov to register.

NOTE: This training will be held remotely using videoconferencing software (e.g. Zoom). Participants must have a computer or mobile device with audio and video capabilities, as well as access to a strong internet connection and adequate bandwidth. Attendees who wish to receive a Certificate of Course Completion will be required to use the web camera to ensure participation.

For more information, or if you require accommodation for a disability, please contact Dena Cologgi at dena.cologgi@alaska.gov or (907) 375-8212.

AARP Alaska, UAF Cooperative Extension Service team up to teach five-class garden series online

Join AARP Alaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service for a free, five-part virtual series on gardening, from starting seeds to cooking with home-grown herbs (and more). Each event will feature a different speaker and new topic, so you can join one or all.

You can register to receive the meeting link or watch live at the scheduled time on the AARP Facebook page.

Gardening: How to Successfully Start Seeds at Home 

Wednesday, March 30, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Glenna Gannon from the Cooperative Extension Service in this workshop and demonstration to learn the basics of starting seeds at home in Alaska. You will learn which start-up supplies are necessary and the simple techniques to successfully start your own seeds. The benefit of starting your own seeds is that you can choose varieties that work well for your specific growing conditions, choose from a much wider selection of varieties that are often not found at your local nursery, and save money on plant starts year after year once you’ve made the initial investment in seed starting supplies. 

Register at https://aarp.cventevents.com/event/bdfeeeba-3fe9-42ef-81a4-dc45c722bccf/regProcessStep1

Gardening: Container Gardening

Wednesday, April 6, 11 a.m.to 12 p.m.  

Join Gina Dionne from the Cooperative Extension Service in this workshop to learn about container gardening, which has become very popular, and for good reason! In this class, you will learn how to make creative use of container gardens to allow you to grow your own food on a sunny deck, windowsill and other non-traditional spaces. 

Register at https://aarp.cventevents.com/event/9628b88c-e896-4b45-b8c6-2b6059414e07/regProcessStep1

Gardening: Growing and Cooking with Herbs 

Wednesday, April 13, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Heidi Rader from the Cooperative Extension Service in this workshop to learn what herbs grow well in Alaska. Which ones come back (perennials) and which ones should you plant year after year? Which ones are easy to start from seed and which ones are easiest to grow from transplants or cuttings? Once you’ve started your herb garden, how do you use them in your everyday cooking? Learn about classic flavor combinations. 

Register at https://aarp.cventevents.com/event/7fa5e549-1f28-4646-bab2-0992473d89ec/regProcessStep1

Gardening: Growing Vegetables in Alaska 

Wednesday, April 20, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Steve Brown from the Cooperative Extension Service in this workshop to learn how growing bountiful veggies is very easy if you know the tips of the Far North. This presentation will show you the secrets behind planning, planting, season extension, fertilization and pest control. 

Register at https://aarp.cventevents.com/event/6dcf11b6-bcb3-47bd-99d1-c8f2974f862b/regProcessStep1

Gardening: Love to Garden but Aches and Pains Getting in the Way? 

Wednesday, April 27, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join Art Nash from the Cooperative Extension Service to talk about accessible gardening ideas. Barriers to growing can come from injuries when we are young or normal pains as we grow older. Yet there are adaptations in how we plan out growing areas, modify the growing area or use altered tools. This session will look at various build-outs and alterations that can hopefully help as you age in place — in the garden.

Register at https://aarp.cventevents.com/event/4936d781-3866-4fbd-aed7-1d0e3a891764/regProcessStep1

Sitka Kitch to offer three classes for National Nutrition Month in March

JessicaFalafelSaladLettuce

March is National Nutrition Month, and the Sitka Kitch is offering three classes to help celebrate the month and healthy eating habits. These classes will be offered virtually using Zoom.

Jessica Holland, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator specialist from the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in Sitka will teach the first and last of the three classes. Audra Henderson will teach the middle class. She is a functional nutritional therapy practitioner, a certified personal trainer, and a nutrition educator who works with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service in Juneau.

Both teachers have private practices, and you can learn more about Jessica at https://www.realnutritionrd.com/ and more about Audra at https://www.audrawellness.com/.

The three classes and their basic details are as follows:

  • Class No. 1 — Falafel Salad, 5:30-7 p.m., Friday, March 11, taught by Jessica Holland, $40. Learn how to make deep-fried or pan-seared falafel balls with ground chickpeas, herbs, spices, and onions, then add them to a salad. Ingredients provided (pick up from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at the SEARHC Health Promotion table at the regional basketball tournament at Mount Edgecumbe High School). Registration deadline 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, class limited to eight students. Eligible for Sitka Food Co-op discount (see details below).
  • Class No. 2 — Celebrate Making A Change, 5-6 p.m., Sunday, March 20, taught by Audra Henderson, Free. Want to make a healthy change? This is your first step! In this class we will focus on eating a nutrient dense, properly prepared diet, safe and fun ways to move our body, and healthy habit formation. Registration deadline 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, class limited to 20 students. Even though the class is free, please register online so we can send you the Zoom link.
  • Class No. 3 — Alaska Bounty Salad, 5:30-7 p.m. on Friday, March 25, taught by Jessica Holland, $40. Learn how to celebrate your Alaska harvest by making a salad with halibut (or salmon) and veggies you can grow or harvest locally. Ingredients provided (pick up from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at Beak Restaurant). Registration deadline 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22. Class limited to eight students. Eligible for Sitka Food Co-op discount (see details below).

The class cost is $40 for both of Jessica’s classes (Audra’s class is free). There is limit on the class size, and ingredients for Jessica’s classes will be provided at the location mentioned in the bulleted list. A link to the Zoom event also will be sent at the end of the registration period. Please connect online at least 10 minutes before the class starts.

Current (paid) members of the Sitka Food Co-op are now able to attend Jessica’s online classes for $30 each (the co-op will cover the other $10 of your class fee). Please use the Sitka Food Co-op ticket when you register and send an email to sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com letting them know you’re in the class. (NOTE, Only one person per Co-op household may use the Co-op discount per class. Please name that person when you register so the name can be checked against the Co-op membership list.)

The registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. two days before each class. Space is limited, so register early to secure your place in the class. Even though Audra’s class is free, please register online so we can send you the Zoom link. You can register and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal on the Sitka Kitch EventSmart online registration page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title). For those wanting to pre-pay with cash or check, please call Chandler O’Connell or Kylee Jones at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a payment.

For more information about the class, contact Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440. We occasionally offer one scholarship spot per class for people with limited incomes, provided we have enough students registered to make the class happen. Contact Chandler or Kylee at SCS for more details about the scholarship.

The Sitka Kitch is supported in partnership by Sitka Conservation Society with UAF Cooperative Extension Service. These classes are fundraisers for the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

The Sitka Kitch also has a new class cancelation policy. If you register for a class, then find out you can’t attend, please email us at sitkakitch@sitkawild.org and we may be able to help fill your slot through our waiting list. If you cancel from the class at least five days in advance (eg, by Wednesday the week before for a Monday class), you are eligible for a partial refund of your class fee, minus $5 for processing (in this case, $35 or $25, depending on if you are paying full price or getting the Sitka Food Co-op discount). If you need to cancel with fewer than five days advance notice, there is no refund.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service to host a hybrid Alaska Master Gardener class for Southeast Alaska communities

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service this spring will offer a “hybrid” Alaska Master Gardener course to every community in Southeast Alaska.

This class will be taught by Southeast Alaska’s Cooperative Extension agriculture and horticulture agent, Darren Snyder (based in Juneau), along with other state and local experts. They will provide in-depth training for experienced Alaska gardeners on a wide range of topics on how to design, plant and maintain successful gardens in Southeast Alaska’s cool, wet, northwest coastal conditions.

The class takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday evenings, Feb. 21 to May 9. In addition, there will be two Saturday classes (dates TBD).

In addition to participating in the course, Master Gardener trainees agree, and will be provided opportunities, to share your skills with the community through various service projects and other means.

What makes this class a hybrid? This course will be delivered by engaging and accessible means in a combination of: synchronous (live) and asynchronous (watch recording) videoconferenced sessions, self-paced readings and resources accessed through shared drives, online interaction through blogs and other electronic formats, plus face-to-face, in-person, workshops and activities.*

Why the * asterisk * regarding face-to-face? 

We are forming community hubs with Master Gardener Liaison point people in communities to be our “eyes on the ground” to help to organize, host, arrange and generally make good gardening happen in your community in Southeast Alaska. In order to have guaranteed face to face opportunities, a Master Gardener Liaison will need to be established in your community. Are you that person? If not, do you know who it can be? Please let Darren know.

The registration fee is $300, which includes a deposit of $150 to be refunded — plus an additional $50 refund from the Southeast Master Gardener Association — when 40 hours of volunteer service are completed within a year. (Note, contact Charles Bingham of the Sitka Local Foods Network, 623-7660, if you’re interested in teaching free gardening classes in Sitka as part of your volunteer service.) A fee reduction/waiver available, as needed, by contacting darren.snyder@alaska.edu. The service goal is to share your gardening skills and knowledge through educational community projects. The fee includes an electronic version of the Alaska Master Gardener manual. Registration and more information available at https://bit.ly/3gsKAly.

Please make any accommodation requests related to a disability seven business days in advance. For this or any further questions, contact Darren Snyder at darren.snyder@alaska.edu.

Sitka Kitch to host Cooking With Culture class on making heart jam thumbprint cookies with Nalani James (fundraiser for SAFV)

heart-thumbprint-cookies-plate
Learn how to make heart jam thumbprint cookies for Valentine’s Day and support the Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) shelter during the next Cooking With Culture class with the Sitka Kitch and Nalani James.

This online class takes place from 6-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, using Zoom. All proceeds from the class fees will be donated to the SAFV shelter. Students also are asked to share some of their cookies with Sitka foster children households by dropping off cookies from 2-3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Southeast Alaska Career Center, 205 Baranof Street (behind Pacific High School).

Nalani has offered many Sitka Kitch classes in Sitka and has been successfully teaching to the community special dishes to her soul.

The class cost is $20, and we need at least eight people registered to make the class happen. Ingredients are not provided; however a list of ingredients and equipment needed will be sent to all who are registered. A link to the Zoom event also will be sent at that time. Please connect at least 10 minutes before the class starts.

Since this class is a fundraiser for SAFV, the usual Sitka Food Co-op member discount will not be available for the class.

The registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11. Space is limited, so register early to secure your place in the class. You can register and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal on the Sitka Kitch EventSmart online registration page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title). For those wanting to pre-pay with cash or check, please call Chandler O’Connell or Kylee Jones at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange a payment.

For more information about the class, contact Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440. We occasionally offer one scholarship spot per class for people with limited incomes, provided we have enough students registered to make the class happen. Contact Chandler or Kylee at SCS for more details about the scholarship.

The Sitka Kitch is supported in partnership by Sitka Conservation Society with UAF Cooperative Extension Service. Normally our classes are fundraisers for the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.

The Sitka Kitch also has a new class cancelation policy. If you register for a class, then find out you can’t attend, please email us at sitkakitch@sitkawild.org and we may be able to help fill your slot through our waiting list. If you cancel from the class at least five days in advance (eg, by Wednesday the week before for a Monday class), you are eligible for a partial refund of your class fee, minus $5 for processing (in this case, $15 or $5, depending on if you are paying full price or getting the Sitka Food Co-op discount). If you need to cancel with less than five days advance notice, there is no refund.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower training scheduled for Feb. 23-24

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extensive Service are planning a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training in February.

This free training takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 23-24, using Zoom. Registration closes on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

This Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved course will satisfy the grower training curriculum requirements under the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. There is no charge for class participants. Funding is provided by a FDA-State of Alaska Cooperative Agreement. Growers who attend all seven modules of the course will receive a FREE Certificate of Course Completion. The workshop is open to all interested growers. Please see the attached flyer for more information. Space will be limited, so pre-registration is required. Contact Dena at dena.cologgi@alaska.gov to register.

NOTE: This training will be held remotely using videoconferencing software (e.g. Zoom). Participants must have a computer or mobile device with audio and video capabilities, as well as access to a strong internet connection and adequate bandwidth. Attendees who wish to receive a Certificate of Course Completion will be required to use the web camera to ensure participation.

For more information, or if you require accommodation for a disability, please contact Dena Cologgi at dena.cologgi@alaska.gov or (907) 375-8212.