SUN AND SNOW – Snow evaporates off the roof of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Thursday. More late season snow mixed with rain  is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Sunny weather is in the forecast for the first part of next week. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Task Force Winds Up With Limits Unsolved
12 Apr 2024 15:31

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Sitka Tourism Task Force reviewed a number of recomme [ ... ]

World Flyers Made Sitka Stop 100 Years Ago
12 Apr 2024 15:29

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Almost exactly a century ago, the engines of four modi [ ... ]

California Salmon Fishing Canceled for Second Year
12 Apr 2024 15:24

By RACHEL BECKER
Alaska Beacon
    In a devastating blow to California’s fishing industry, federa [ ... ]

Gov Claims Poll Backs His Education Policies
12 Apr 2024 15:22

By CLAIRE STREMPLE
Alaska Beacon
    Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said a poll shows there is strong su [ ... ]

House Rejects Making State PFD Guaranteed
12 Apr 2024 15:20

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a long-a [ ... ]

Arctic Center at UAA Broadens Its Mission
12 Apr 2024 14:37

By YERETH ROSEN
Alaska Beacon
When the federal government established an Arctic Domain Awareness Cente [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Police Blotter
12 Apr 2024 14:01

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 11
At 2:14 a.m. a report was logged t [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Community Happenings
12 Apr 2024 13:56

Card of Thanks
Dear Sitka, I would like to say thank you for the outpouring of love and support for t [ ... ]

Southeast Music Fest Opens with Festive Air
11 Apr 2024 15:49

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    High school musicians and directors from around South [ ... ]

Changes Made To Improve Recycling at Center
11 Apr 2024 14:11

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Recent changes in the collection of recyclable materia [ ... ]

Sitka Softballers Sweep All Rivals in Tourney
11 Apr 2024 14:10

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Opening the softball season strong at a tournament in  [ ... ]

House Adds, Subtracts In Amending Budget
11 Apr 2024 14:06

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives has voted to provide state fu [ ... ]

SalmonState Criticizes AIDEA’s Loan Program
11 Apr 2024 14:05

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    An Alaska conservation group has released a new series of reports [ ... ]

Despite Quakes, Alaska Building Codes Shaky
11 Apr 2024 14:04

By YERETH ROSEN
Alaska Beacon
Sixty years after North America’s most powerful earthquake on record r [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Police Blotter
11 Apr 2024 13:44

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 10
A dog was reported running loose i [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Community Happenings
11 Apr 2024 13:38

Big Rig Event
Set Saturday
For All Ages
All types of vehicles, food and activities are planned for the  [ ... ]

Home Health Receives Boost from Assembly
10 Apr 2024 15:08

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    After hearing testimony from a number of residents, t [ ... ]

Assembly to Question 2 Attorneys on Zoom
10 Apr 2024 14:23

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Two applicants for the Sitka city attorney position,  [ ... ]

Sitka Housing Summit Seeks Public Participation
10 Apr 2024 14:22

By Sentinel Staff
    Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Baranof Island Housing Authority and the city will be [ ... ]

Horan to Race Boston Marathon for Charity
10 Apr 2024 14:21

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Sports Editor
    Years after running cross country and track at Sitka  [ ... ]

High School Music Fest Starts Thursday in Sitka
10 Apr 2024 14:18

By Sentinel Staff
    The Southeast Music Fest kicks off early Thursday, with hundreds of high sch [ ... ]

Wolves Sweep Opening Series
10 Apr 2024 14:17

KODIAK OPENER - The five seniors of Sitka High’s softball team pose for a shot after playing in  [ ... ]

City League VB Tournament
10 Apr 2024 14:14

By Sentinel Staff
    Playing the recreational division City League volleyball tournament, the Pac [ ... ]

House Seeks to Narrow Gap in Funding Budget
10 Apr 2024 13:19

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    As the Alaska House of Representatives opened debate on the state [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sitka to Host Conclave of SE Food Growers

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    The secrets of mushroom growing, better composting and growing spinach leaves the size of dinner plates may be revealed at a conference this weekend in Sitka.
    The Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit is set for Friday through Sunday, with activities planned at Harrigan Centennial Hall and the SJ Campus. More than 100 growers and presenters are expected to attend.
    The summit will bring in experts from outside Sitka and Alaska to give workshops and presentations, with panel discussions giving gardeners and growers a chance to share knowledge.
    The idea behind the first Summit in 2015 was to bring together Southeast growers to learn from one another about producing local food in a challenging growing environment, and overcoming the obstacles of getting products to market. It’s been held every two years since then, giving growers a chance to reconnect, expand their knowledge and share experiences with a growing network of local food producers, said organizers.
    The first two summits were held in Petersburg and Haines, and this year is Sitka’s turn.
    Laura Schmidt, lead gardener for the Sitka Local Foods Network, said Sitka and Southeast growers have a lot in common, and can learn from each other.
    “They have challenging growing conditions; they often don’t have much access to soil or sun,” she said. “Once they’ve grown stuff, where do they sell it? Transportation and logistics are huge things for growers.”

Jennifer Nu, of Sustainable Southeast, at left, leads a tour of Moby, the Mobile Greenhouse, for Pacific High School staff this morning on the Baranof School ball field. The greenhouse was designed by a UA Southeast student and built by students from Juneau Douglas High School.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

    Schmidt runs St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm and another garden in the 2900 block of Halibut Point Road. Produce grown is sold at the Sitka Local Foods Network’s Farmers Market and Chelan Produce. She was among 10 Southeast farmers who designed the curriculum for the summit this weekend.
    “We voted on all the things we wanted to learn about,” she said.
    The event kicks off 1 p.m. on Friday on the SJ Campus with an afternoon of opportunities to network with producers from around Southeast Alaska. Featured farms include Farragut Farm (Petersburg), Game Creek Orchards (Hoonah), Juneau Greens (Juneau), Middle Island Gardens (Sitka), Orsi Organic Produce (Auke Bay) and Sunnyside Farms (Haines).
    The day concludes with a potluck at 6 p.m. for participants and the community at Sweetland Hall.
    At 7 p.m. Friday is a presentation on “what grows best in Southeast,” followed by a screening of the film “Farmers for America.”
    The conference moves to Harrigan Centennial Hall for more activities on Saturday and Sunday.
    Presentations Saturday are on:
    – Pest Disease Management, Janice Chumley, UAF
    – Community Composting, Lisa Daugherty, Juneau Composts!
    – Farming in Fairbanks, Maggie Hallam, Cripple Creek Organics (Fairbanks)
    – Employees and Interns, Meghan Fehrman, Rogue Farm Corps (Oregon)
    – Cover Crops, Eero Ruuttila, Johnny’s Seeds (Maine)
    – PIA Composting, Brandon Thynes, Petersburg Indian Association
    – Growing Gourmet Mushrooms, Tristan Woodsmith, Fungi Perfecti (Washington State)
    Sunday is a chance to meet in small groups with different focus areas.
    The summit is presented by the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and Sustainable Southeast Partnership, with local growers and gardeners pitching in to help coordinate the conference here.
    Schmidt said she has attended the past two summits, and would recommend them for commercial growers and gardeners wanting to take their skills up a notch.
    “It’s just a fabulous resource,” she said. “Everyone’s doing exactly what you’re doing, and they’ve problem solved a lot of things. It’s very inspiring. It’s extremely helpful ... Instead of digging by yourself, you have a team to help make sense of what you’re doing better.”
    Andrea Fraga and her partner Kaleb Aldred, co-owners of Middle Island Gardens, are among three commercial agriculture businesses in town who grow produce for consumption, and will participate in the upcoming summit. (Schmidt said the conference is for those who grow produce for consumption, which excludes marijuana businesses.)
    On their one-third-acre island plot they grow numerous vegetables, including garlic, root crops, lettuce and kale, which they distribute to members of their Community Supported Agriculture business.
    Fraga said she’s also looking forward to sharing and learning at the upcoming summit.
    “For me it’s surprising how many folks in Southeast are doing commercial agriculture,” she said. “At the first one, it was really inspiring, there was a lot of good information for home gardeners as well. I enjoy the opportunity to learn from other growers in Southeast Alaska.”
    Lori Adams, owner of Down to Earth Garden in Sitka, will participate in two panel discussions, offering some tips on seed varieties, and how and whether to build the beds her business designs and builds.  
    Her 2,000-square-foot garden in the 2100 block of Sawmill Creek Road supplies produce to 14 weekly customers, her family, a restaurant and the family charter boat business.
    “The Farmers Summit is incredible to anyone that’s growing and trying to sell,” she said.
    Those wanting to attend the summit may register for the entire conference for as little as $60 (excluding meals), buy a day pass for $20 or attend a session for a donation. Meals are extra. The Sitka High and Blatchley Middle School music programs will be selling soup as a fundraiser Saturday and Sunday.
    Organizing partners in Sitka are the Sitka Conservation Society and Sitka Local Foods Network.
    Registration is available through saltandsoilmarketplace.com, under the Farmers Summit tab.     
 

You have no rights to post comments

Login Form

 

20 YEARS AGO

April 2004

Photo caption: Grace Larson holds one of the Easter breads she baked for sale at the annual Rainy Day Bazaar Saturday at Centennial Hall. Hundreds turned out for the event, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Spouses and Women’s Association.

50 YEARS AGO

April 1974

All youngsters from walking age on up to age 12 are invited to an Easter egg hunt Sunday. Ages 5 and under meet at the Centennial Building; ages 6-9 in front of the visitor center at Totem Park; and ages 10-12 at Totem Park. Some $150 in cash and merchandise prizes will be offered.

Calendar

Local Events

Instagram

Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!

Facebook

Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!