Locally harvested produce, artisan crafts, and live entertainment can all be found in one place this summer: the Sitka Farmers Market. The first Saturday morning market of the season opened on the Fourth of July at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall on Katlian Street.
“You can find lots of terrific produce that’s grown either at the St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm or at Pat Arven’s Extension Garden,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, President of the Sitka Local Foods Network. They are the non-profit that organizes the market every year.
Produce available this year include rhubarb and beets, herbs like basil, and different kinds of leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and chard.
The Alaska Flour Company, based out of Delta Junction, will also offer its stone-ground barley products.
Farmers Market Manager Debe Brincefield says this year’s market offerings vary widely.
“Kiki Norman has some amazing locally made jewelry, Carol Knuth is one of our food preparers and she had Reindeer Redhots, and Florence Welsh, she’s going to be bringing some of her lovely flower arraignments and produce. And Lori Adams from U-Pick Gardens has her jams and jellies and some more produce.
Individuals and families utilizing the food stamps program can use their QUEST card at the market. Sadleir-Hart says for every household that comes out and uses their food stamp allocation at the market, they’ll match it by 20 dollars.
In addition, people participating in SEARHC’s new fruits and vegetable prescription program can use their $5 vouchers at the St. Peter’s Fellowship farm stand. WIC farmers market and fruits and vegetable vouchers can also be redeemed there.
Sadleir-Hart says the focus of the market is to feature all-local products as a way to strengthen the local economy and community.
“It’s really about moving our dollars locally, it’s really is about supporting your neighbors who are trying some really cool business ideas,” Sadleir-Hart said. “Maybe they’re testing the waters out by checking something out at the farmer’s market,” she said.
There are five markets left this season. The next one is on July 18th.