December 2015 newsletter
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Sitka Local Foods Network
408 Marine Street, Suite D
Sitka, Alaska 99835
Board of directors — Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president; Matthew Jackson, vice president; Maybelle Filler, treasurer; Alli Gabbert, secretary; Charles Bingham, communications director; Michelle Putz; Jennifer Carter; Brandie Cheatham; Kathy Jones

One tweet wins $20,000 from Tom's of Maine

The Sitka Local Foods Network learned the power of 140 characters when a tweet this summer supporting the network's work by Communications Director/Board Member Charles Bingham was chosen as Alaska's winner in the seventh annual Tom's of Maine 50 States For Good program. The award was announced on Thursday, Dec. 3.

The Sitka Local Foods Network is one of 52 winners (one from each state and the District of Columbia, plus an organization that entered using a UPC code) to each win $20,000 in the program. We plan to use the windfall to help support our programming to improve food security in Sitka and Southeast Alaska through the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter's Fellowship Farm and our extension gardens, and our garden education program. You can read more about the donation by clicking this link

Speaking of donations, we want to thank everybody who donated to our inaugural #GivingTuesday (#GivingTuesdayAK in Alaska) fundraiser on Dec. 1. Our online donation site recently announced it won't charge transaction fees through the end of the year, so our #GivingTuesday fundraiser has been extended until Dec. 31. You can learn more about the fundraiser by clicking this link, and you can donate using our secure online site for Giving Tuesday.

Also, don't forget to remember the Sitka Local Foods Network when you make your Pick.Click.Give. donations when you file your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend application from Jan. 1 through March 31. Your support helps us meet our mission of increasing the amount of locally produced and harvested foods in the diets of Southeast Alaskans. We appreciate your contributions to Sitka's food security.

Sitka Biotoxin Lab means safer shellfish in SE

Eating subsistence or sport-harvested shellfish in Southeast Alaska has been a risky venture, because no or minimal testing was done for harmful algal blooms that could result in paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) or amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP). With the recent opening of the Sitka Biotoxin Lab at 429 Katlian Street (an open house was held on Nov. 30), shellfish lovers now will have better information about the health of their shellfish.

The new lab is the next phase of the Southeast Alaska Tribal Testing (SEATT) program, which is a partnership of 12 tribal villages to test local waters and shellfish from Ketchikan to Yakutat. The program started testing seawater this past year, but samples had to be sent to the Lower 48 for testing. Now the Sitka lab will provide results within 24 hours. Click this link to learn more about the project.

Garden mentor program recruiting new families for 2015-16

The Sitka Local Foods Network education committee is still recruiting new families for the 2015-16 garden mentoring program. The program is for first-time gardeners who need coaching on how to grow their own food in Sitka.

Those families who join the program will learn how to grow lettuce, kale, rhubarb and potatoes during their first year in the program. There also is an option for a second year, when the families learn how to grow carrots, green onions, chard and peas, which are a little bit more difficult to grow in Sitka. We hope to add up to three new families each year. To learn more about how to apply, click this link.


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Sitka Local Foods Network
408 Marine Street, Suite D
Sitka, Alaska 99835

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