Get a milk shake from Harry Race’s soda fountain in August and support the Sitka Local Foods Network

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HRsodaPrices6924544_origThe Harry Race Pharmacy soda fountain, aka Harry’s Soda Shop, will donate its tips in August to the Sitka Local Foods Network.

Next time you get a milk shake, ice cream sundae, bag of popcorn, or fountain drink at Harry Race, leave a tip in the jar and it will get to us. Each month the staff at Harry’s Soda Shop picks a local nonprofit organization to support by donating its tips, and this month the tips will be donated to the Sitka Local Foods Network.

We appreciate the support of White’s Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy in this promotion, especially since the company promotes shopping locally and is a big supporter of a variety of Sitka nonprofit organizations.

• Let’s Grow Sitka garden education event is Sunday, March 20

Mark your calendars, because the 2011 “Let’s Grow Sitka” gardening education event opens at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Katlian Street. Celebrate the first day of spring and get ready to garden.

This annual event brings together local garden supply stores, local gardeners, landscapers and anybody who is interested in learning how to grow food and/or flowers. This year’s theme is “Adding edibles to your landscape — focus on fruit trees and berry bushes.”

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau will be on hand to provide expertise during the show. Buyarski will give a special presentation on “Growing Fruit in Southeast Alaska” at 11 a.m. on March 20 at ANB Hall (just before the show opens).

Buyarski also will lead some free hands-on tree pruning workshops on Saturday, March 19, with the first tree pruning workshop at 10:30 a.m. at the trees outside Patty Bickar’s house, 310 Cascade (at the top of the hill). The tree pruning workshops will continue Saturday afternoon at the trees outside the home of Tory O’Connell, 608 Etolin Way (off Baranof Street downtown). Buyarski will provide instruction on how to properly prune the trees and bushes to encourage fruit production and maintain healthy growth. Pruning needs to be done before the trees bud, so NOW is the time to get it done. The tree pruning workshops are hosted by the Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative.

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages people to share their knowledge by hosting a booth or posting an educational display about a specific garden topic. We especially want people with experience growing fruit trees to share their knowledge about growing apple, cherry or crabapple trees in Sitka; growing strawberries; growing rhubarb; growing unusual berry varieties that do well in our climate such as aronia, sea buckthorn, honeysuckle (fruiting), gooseberry, currant and elderberry; and how to legally transplant and cultivate wild berry bushes to your property.

In addition, you can learn about home greenhouses, how to prepare your soil, how to raise chickens and what to do with all those slugs. Buy seeds and plant starts. Swap ideas and tips. Come learn, share, and get ready to grow your garden. Learn about plans for the Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. Let’s Grow Sitka is organized by the Sitka Local Foods Network and is part of the Arti Gras Sitka Music and Arts Festival, which takes place March 6-20.

There still are a few FREE tables available for vendors, education and demonstrations. For more information about Let’s Grow Sitka or to reserve table space, contact Linda Wilson at lawilson87@hotmail.com or call her at 747-3096 (in the evenings or on weekends only). She also has information about the tree pruning workshops.

Master gardeners are encouraged to sign up to share their personal experience on how to create a successful garden in Sitka. Also, anyone with a garden-related product or service to sell is invited to participate. Some of the expected booths are from:

  • True Value Garden Center (type Sitka or 99835 into the store locator search bar) — garden supplies
  • White’s, Inc/Harry Race Pharmacy — garden books, magazines, accessories
  • Garden Ventures — lots of lovely primroses for sale along with garden supplies
  • Lori Adams — Down-To-Earth U-Pick garden promotion
  • Andrew Thoms — raising chickens and chicks for sale (Andrew suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or andrew@sitkawild.org.)
  • Eve Grutter — jams for sale, garden and raising chickens expertise to share
  • Sitka Local Foods Network — garden information and volunteer sign up
  • Sitka Farmers Market — tomato plant starts for sale, Farmers Market information
  • St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm — seed starter kits
  • Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative — information on growing your own fruit trees and berry bushes in Sitka
  • Sitka Fruit Tree Initiative — community fruit tree mapping project
  • Sitka Seed Savers — information on how to save your own garden seed, and a sign up to participate in an educational workshop on how to save vegetable seed and start a seed savers group in Sitka
  • Display and information handouts on growing rhubarb and its nutritional benefits
  • UAF Cooperative Extension Service — lots of free garden handouts
  • Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau — edible landscaping

• Let’s Grow Sitka event flier for March 20, 2011, at ANB Hall (please print and post around town)

• Save the date — ‘Let’s Grow Sitka’ gardening education event is Sunday, March 20, at ANB Hall

The view from above at closing time of the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka garden education event.

The view from above at closing time of the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka garden education event.

Mark your calendars, because the 2011 “Let’s Grow Sitka” gardening education event opens at noon and runs until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on Katlian Street. Celebrate the first day of spring and get ready to garden.

This annual event brings together local garden supply stores, local gardeners, landscapers and anybody who is interested in learning how to grow food and/or flowers. This year’s theme is “Adding edibles to your landscape — focus on fruit trees and berry bushes.”

The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages people to share their knowledge by hosting a booth or posting an educational display about a specific garden topic. We especially want people with experience growing fruit trees to share their knowledge about growing apple, cherry or crabapple trees in Sitka; growing strawberries; growing rhubarb; growing unusual berry varieties that do well in our climate such as aronia, sea buckthorn, honeysuckle (fruiting), gooseberry, currant and elderberry; and how to legally transplant and cultivate wild berry bushes to your property.

Young girls check out a baby chick at the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka event. Andrew Thoms will have egg-producing chicks and information about how to raise them available this year, but he suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or andrew@sitkawild.org.

Young girls check out a baby chick at the 2010 Let's Grow Sitka event. Andrew Thoms will have egg-producing chicks and information about how to raise them available this year, but he suggests anybody wanting to buy chicks contact him as soon as possible so he can start incubating the eggs. He can be reached at 747-3747 or andrew@sitkawild.org.

In addition, you can learn about home greenhouses, how to prepare your soil, how to raise chickens and what to do with all those slugs. Buy seeds and plant starts. Swap ideas and tips. Come learn, share, and get ready to grow your garden. Learn about plans for the Sitka Farmers Markets this summer. Let’s Grow Sitka is organized by the Sitka Local Foods Network and is part of the Arti Gras Sitka Music and Arts Festival, which takes place March 6-20.

Master gardeners are encouraged to sign up to share their personal experience on how to create a successful garden in Sitka. Also, anyone with a garden-related product or service to sell is invited to participate. Some of the expected booths are from the True Value Garden Center (type Sitka or 99835 into store locator box), Andrew Thoms (chickens, see note with photo above), White’s Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy, St. Peters Fellowship Farm (seed starter kits), Sitka Local Foods Network, University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, the Sitka Fruit Tree Planting Initiative and many others. Master Gardener Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping in Juneau also will be on hand to provide expertise.

There still are a few FREE tables available for vendors, education and demonstrations. For more information or to reserve table space, contact Linda Wilson at lawilson87@hotmail.com or call her at 747-3096 (in the evenings or on weekends only).

• Fourth annual Sitka Health Summit takes place on Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 4-5

Sitka residents are invited to join their community in honoring our local wellness champions and planning our health priorities for the next year during the fourth annual Sitka Health Summit, “Working Together for a Healthier Sitka,” on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 4-5, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

The Sitka Local Foods Network got its start as two community food security projects from the 2008 Sitka Health Summit — to create a local foods market and to create a community greenhouse/expand local community gardens. In 2009 the Sitka Local Foods Network received a community wellness champion award for nutrition.

There are two main community events during the Sitka Health Summit — the Sitka Community Dessert and Awards Ceremony on Monday, Oct. 4, and the Planning Day: Real Ideas Into Action on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Julien Naylor, MD, MPH

Julien Naylor, MD, MPH

Doors open for Monday’s program at 6 p.m., with the program starting at 6:30 p.m. The event features a selection of free local and organic desserts provided by Sitka Spuce Catering for the first 200 people. The keynote presentation will be by Dr. Julien Naylor, an internal medicine/diabetes specialist at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital who will speak about the importance of creating a healthy community in Sitka and how to help people move toward a more healthful life. Following the presentation will be an awards ceremony honoring our community wellness champions. This event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Sitka Health Summit’s new Health Initiatives Fund. Also, raffle tickets for a watercolor by local artist Pat Kehoe and other prizes are being sold for $5 each to raise money for the Health Initiatives Fund.

Sitka Local Foods Network president Kerry MacLane, left, and secretary/treasurer Linda Wilson say a few words after the Sitka Local Foods Network received a Community Wellness Champion award for nutrition at the 2009 Sitka Health Summit

Sitka Local Foods Network president Kerry MacLane, left, and secretary/treasurer Linda Wilson say a few words after the Sitka Local Foods Network received a Community Wellness Champion award for nutrition at the 2009 Sitka Health Summit

Tuesday’s program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will allow Sitka residents to set the community’s health and wellness goals for 2010-11. Some of our recent past goals were to make Sitka more bicycle friendly and to start a market for local foods, and they resulted in Sitka becoming Alaska’s first official Bicycle Friendly Community in 2008 and the creation of the Sitka Farmers Market. This year’s top goals and priorities will receive seed money from the new Health Initiatives Fund. There also will be a community health and wellness resource room open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Exhibit Room. Snacks and lunch will be available.

The Sitka Health Summit is brought to you by Sitka Community Hospital and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), with major financial help from Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, the City and Borough of Sitka, Scott Insurance Services, White’s Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy/White’s Pharmacy and the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus. The Sitka Health Summit’s vision is “to serve our great state as a model for community wellness by creating a healthy community where all Sitkans strive for and enjoy a high quality of life.”

For more information about the Sitka Health Summit, contact Holly Keen at 738-2707 or sitkahealthsummit@gmail.com, or go to our Web site at http://www.sitkahealthsummit.org/.

• Sitka Health Summit poster (PDF file, feel free to print out and post around town)