June 2018 newsletter
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Sitka Local Foods Network
408 Marine Street, Suite D
Sitka, Alaska 99835
Board of directors — Charles Bingham, president/communications director; Ben Timby, vice president; Tiffany Justice, treasurer; Nina Vizcarrondo, secretary/Sitka Farmers Market manager; Laura Schmidt, St. Peter's Fellowship Farm lead gardener (honorary board member); Jennifer Carter (honorary board member); we have space for you on our board.

Gimbal Botanicals wins food business contest

Congratulations to Hope Merritt of Gimbal Botanicals, who won $1,500 in the inaugural Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network. Gimbal Botanicals won in the established business category (there was a similar prize available for start-up businesses younger than two years old, but nobody entered that division). For the past decade or so, Hope (at right in the photo) has been ethically harvesting sea asparagus, seaweed, devil's club, and other wild foods that she sells as sea veggies and tea blends. She used her prize money to hire Nora Skeele (left in the photo) and Kassandra Eubank-Littlefield (center) as interns to help her harvest, process and sell her wild food products. To learn more about the competition and Gimbal Botanicals, click this link

Sitka Farmers Market vendor info available

Are you interested in being a vendor at the Sitka Farmers Market? The Sitka Local Foods Network has posted information about how to become a vendor on its site. We are looking for local produce vendors, home-baked bread vendors, fish vendors, home preserve vendors, and arts and crafts vendors. We even have room for food trucks. The only rule is whatever you sell has to be made in Sitka (preferred) or Alaska (required). This year, the Sitka Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on seven Saturdays — July 7, July 21, Aug. 4, Aug. 11, Aug. 25, Sept. 1, and Sept 15 — at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian Street). To learn more about the vendor meeting and download our rules and registration form (last page of the rules packet), click this link.

Like local food in Sitka? Please join our board of directors

Are you enjoying the fresh local veggies at the Sitka Farmers Market this summer? Did you take one of our garden education classes this spring? Do you have an interest in getting more access to locally grown, harvested and produced food, and an interest in food security? If so, please consider joining our board of directors. We need new board members to keep offering these programs, and we'd love to have you join us. We just found out two board members are leaving town at the end of the summer, so if you've ever thought about joining our board this is the time to do it. We need board members to keep things going. For more details, please click this link. This page has links to our board job descriptions and applications. Right now, we haven't set our next meeting. But we will post it on our website when the date, time and location become available. Feel free to check us out. Our meetings are open to the public.

Sitka Kitch offering lots of summer food classes

The Sitka Local Foods Network has wrapped up its spring gardening class series, but there are plenty of food classes available from the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen (505 Sawmill Creek Road, inside First Presbyterian Church). The Sitka Kitch is partnering with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service and the Sitka Local Foods Network to offer a Starting a Cottage Foods Business class from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, in Room 106 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. This videoconference class costs $10 and will be taught by Sarah Lewis from Juneau, with assistance from Sitka Farmers Market Manager Nina Vizcarrondo in Sitka. Lisa Sadleir-Hart is offering her popular Rambunctious Rhubarb class from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, June 25, at the Sitka Kitch. This class costs $27.50, plus a food/supply fee split among the students. The Sitka Kitch will host a Baking With Betsy cooking series with professional baker and culinary skills instructor Betsy Peterson Sanchez from 6-8:30 p.m. on three consecutive Tuesdays in July (Savory Breads is July 3, Sweet Breads is July 10, and Baking With Alternative Sweeteners is July 17) at the Sitka Kitch. Each class costs $27.50, and there is a reduced food/supply fee due to a donation from Sea Mart Quality Foods. Finally, nationally known fermentation guru and author Sandor Katz will teach a Fermentation Workshop With Sandor Katz from 5:30-8 p.m. on Monday, July 9, at the Sitka Kitch. This class is sponsored by SEARHC and costs $15 (no food/supply fee). A couple of the classes were filling up, so if our online registration website, (click on class title), says the class is full, please call Chandler or Claire at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to get on the waiting list. Watch the website, because we're hoping to add a couple of seafood classes in August in conjunction with the Sitka Seafood Festival.

SLFN 2018 sponsorship program continues

The Sitka Local Foods Network launched a sponsorship program in 2016, and we are now accepting sponsorships for 2018 from businesses and individuals concerned about food security in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. We have four levels — Grower ($2,500 or more), Harvester ($1,000-$2,499), Planter ($250-$999), and Friend ($50-$249). Businesses and individuals who sponsor the Sitka Local Foods Network support the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter's Fellowship Farm communal garden (where we grow most of the produce sold at the market), our gardening education programs, and our matching program for those using WIC and SNAP produce benefits at the market. In 2018 we also hope to launch a local food business innovation contest to inspire Sitka entrepreneurs. We also want to thank our 2017 sponsors, who all renewed for 2018 — the Alaska Comprehensive Cancer Partnership (Grower level), SEARHC (Harvester level), Sitka True Value (Planter level), and White's Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy (Planter). So far, we've had one new business — ALPS Federal Credit Union (Planter level) and three individuals sponsor us for 2018 — Charles Bingham (Harvester level), Beth Short-Rhoads (Friend level), and Jeff Budd (Friend level). To learn more about our sponsorship program, click this link. Also, thanks to the Sitka White Elephant Shop, aka the White E, which gave us a grant of $1,000 to use to match produce purchases of up to $20 by SNAP/WIC beneficiaries at the Sitka Farmers Market.
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Sitka Local Foods Network
408 Marine Street, Suite D
Sitka, Alaska 99835

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