• Sitka Local Foods Network seeks a coordinator for our new downtown garden education program

GreensInHoopHouseStPeters

UnitedWayOfSoutheastAlaskaLogoThe Sitka Local Foods Network is looking to contract with a Sitka resident to coordinate our new downtown garden education program. We recently received a 2015 community impact grant from the United Way of Southeast Alaska to develop this program, which we hope to launch in 2016 at a space next to Baranof Elementary School.

This contract run from November 2015 through fall 2016, and the coordinator will be in charge of developing curricula, teaching classes, obtaining supplies, and providing evaluation of the program. A full list of job duties and expectations can be found in the linked document at the bottom of this article.

Applicants should have at least 3-5 years of varied vegetable gardening experience, preferably in Southeast Alaska. They also should have 3-5 years of project coordination experience, as well as demonstrated communication, organizational, and teaching/mentoring skills.

This new program is modeled after our successful garden mentoring project, but instead of having garden mentors go out to beginning gardeners’ homes to provide instruction this new program will be taught at a centralized teaching garden next to Baranof Elementary School. The person who wins this contract will develop curricula (there is some curricula already available from the garden mentoring program), will prepare the garden plots, and will teach at least one class for adults and one class for kids every two weeks through the spring and summer.

The garden mentoring project began in 2014 when two families of first-time gardeners were chosen to receive help planning and building a simple garden to grow four relatively easy plants for Sitka (kale, rhubarb, potatoes, lettuce). In 2015 the program expanded to provide mentoring service to four new first-time gardening families, plus the two families from 2014 received a second year of mentoring as they learn a few more difficult to grow plants (such as carrots). There are six classes with each family, and they usually are open to the public.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and resume by Wednesday, Oct. 21, to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com. Please put “SLFN Downtown Garden Education Coordinator” in your email subject line. The contract pays $1,070 total, in three installments of $350 for the first two payments in February and April, and $370 for the final payment at the end of August.

Questions about the contract can be directed to Michelle Putz at 747-2708 or to Maybelle Filler at 738-1982, or send an email to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

• SLFN downtown garden education coordinator contract information

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• Sitka Local Foods Network receives 2015 Community Impact Grant

GreensInHoopHouseStPeters

UnitedWayOfSoutheastAlaskaLogoThe Sitka Local Foods Network has been awarded a 2015 Community Impact Grant from the United Way of Southeast Alaska in the amount of $1,765 to assist with the network’s garden education program.

These funds will be used to create a downtown teaching garden (hopefully at Baranof Elementary School), creating a centralized garden that can be used to teach a variety of garden education classes throughout the year. The United Way of Southeast Alaska awarded Community Impact Grants to 11 Southeast nonprofit organizations in the areas of health, education, and income.

“The Sitka Local Foods Network appreciates the support of the United Way of Southeast Alaska,” said Michelle Putz, a Sitka Local Foods Network board member and member of the network’s education committee. “We look forward to developing a centrally located instructional food garden and a community education program that acts as a center of learning. This garden space will give us a new opportunity to teach local beginner gardeners of different ages how to produce their own food using the garden as an outdoor classroom. Next year we will be able to invite the community and gardeners of Sitka to an open, public location for bi-weekly classes for children and adults throughout the gardening year, focusing on different topics.”

“We always have more demand and requests for funding than we are able to give but in this competitive grant process the Sitka Local Foods Network ranked high in meeting targeted needs in the community,” said Rustan Burton, Chair of United Way of Southeast Alaska. “We are happy to partner with the Sitka Local Foods Network to meet this/these community need(s).”

United Way of Southeast Alaska is an independently governed, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening lives, helping people, and improving community conditions in Southeast Alaska. United Way of Southeast Alaska and its partner agencies work to create real, lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of problems within our communities. Additionally, United Way of Southeast supports community programs and initiatives that help those in need and also prevent problems from happening in the first place.

The Sitka Local Foods Network’s mission is to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets in Southeast Alaskans. To accomplish this, the Sitka Local Foods Network hosts the annual Sitka Farmers Market in the summer, operates the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm communal garden (which grows produce to sell at the Sitka Farmers Market), and offers a variety of garden and food preservation classes throughout the year (including an innovative garden mentoring project for beginning gardeners).

To learn more about the Sitka Local Foods Network, go to http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/. You also can like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaLocalFoodsNetwork, and you can follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/SitkaLocalFoods (@SitkaLocalFoods). For more information about the United Way of Southeast Alaska, go to http://www.unitedwayseak.org/