Farmers Summit 2019 lettuce and logo.jpg

The 2019 Farmers Summit, Feb 15-17 in Sitka

Thank you to the community of Sitka for hosting this event! Many thanks for all our sponsors, vendors, committee members, and everyone who attended.

A special THANK YOU to our sponsors and partners for the 2019 Farmers Summit!

Thank you for making the 2019 Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit a success!

Over 120 people from 19 communities attended the 2019 Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit in Sitka. This is the third bi-annual gathering that was started by commercial farmers and producers created this opportunity for farmers and gardeners from across the region and beyond to share their experiences, learn new skills, and connect with each other to energize their efforts and strengthen self-sufficiency and food security in region.

Many hands make light work, and we are fortunate to have had so many amazing people involved in making this event a success.

We are grateful for Nancy Douglas and Anne Davis from Sitka Tribe of Alaska for welcoming us to Sitka and opening the conference. Thank you to the amazing Sitka Fine Arts Camp (SFAC) and Harrigan Centennial Hall for hosting us at their venues, and the kitchen staff at SFAC and the Blatchley and Sitka high school music department for preparing delicious meals throughout the summit. Thank you also to Mark, Tava, and Razie Guillory for all of their help.

Thank you also to Charles Bingham, Amanda Anjum, Stanley Lopata, and Nina Vizcarrondo, and Laura Schmidt of the Sitka Local Foods Network who hosted Friday’s potluck and the Sitka Conservation Society for supporting Saturday’s dinner. Many thanks to the Americorps volunteers who have helped with set up, Maija Nurikko, Mary Hommel, and Angela Hess. Thank you also to Kaleb Aldred, Kevan O’Hanlon, Claire Sanchez, and Cait O’Malley for your help, and Robbie Littlefield for sharing Tlingit potatoes and information on this important traditional food. Many thanks for everyone who contributed delicious vegetables, fish, meat, and other dishes to Friday’s dinner potluck.

Thank you also to Shannon Haughland of the Daily Sitka Sentinel, James Poulson, and Katherine Rose of Raven Radio for getting the word out about the event. Agency representatives included Stephanie Storrs from Agrilogic Consulting, LLC and Jasmine Shaw from the UAF Cooperative Extension Service in Sitka. Caprice Pratt and Alana Peterson of Spruce Root provided business consulting services.

The event would not have been possible without many sponsors who contributed monetary, staff, and food donations. Our Sitka-based sponsors include Gimbal Botanicals, Hames Corporation (Sea Mart), Highliner Coffee, Jerry Fleming, Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Local Foods Network, Sitka Salmon Shares, Sitka Food Co-op, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Southeast Island School District, Spruce Root, The Beak, The Farm, The Westmark Sitka, True Value Sitka, and Visit Sitka. Additional sponsors include Alaska Airlines, Alaska Farm Bureau, Barnacle Foods, Coppa, Ed Buyarski of Ed’s Edible Landscaping, Farragut Farm, Glacier Seafoods, Harris Air, Juneau Greens, Office Plus, and Sunnyside Farms of Haines.

Special thanks to John Krapek of Juneau Greens for donating basil for the centerpieces, Christina Van Den Hoogan at Sitka Fine Arts Camp and volunteer Lori Adams for providing shuttles. Thank you Lauren Kenny for a rejuvenating Farmer Yoga session.

We would like to extend a big thanks to our farmer presenters: Marja Smets and Bo Varsano of Farragut Farm, Rob Bishop of Game Creek Orchards, John Krapek of Juneau Greens, Andrea Fraga and Kaleb Aldred of Middle Island Gardens, Joe Orsi of Orsi Organic Produce, Scott Hansen of Sunnyside Farms of Haines, Laura Schmidt of St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, Debbie Hurley of the Flower Farm, Lori Adams of Down to Earth Garden, Florence Welsh, Eli and Kylie Wray of Panhandle Produce.

Many thanks also to our invited speakers Janice Chumley, Lisa Daugherty of Juneau Composts, Dena Cologgi from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Maggie Hallam of Cripple Creek Organics, Meghan Fehrman of Rogue Farm Corps, Barbara Hanson from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Johanna Herron from the Alaska Division of Agriculture, Jenn Landry of Fucus Fugue, Eero Ruuttila, Brandon Thynes of Petersburg Indian Association, and Tristan Woodsmith of Fungi Perfecti. Dena Cologgi, Barb Hansen, and Sarah Lewis also provided a free post-summit Produce Safety Alliance Grower's training for Farmer's Summit participants.

Finally, a big thanks to our Farmers Summit committee for dedicating your time and hard work to planning the summit: Lia Heifetz of Grow Southeast, who coordinated the initial event planning process, Marja Smets, Bo Varsano, Andrea Fraga, Joe Orsi, Laura Schmidt, and Colin Peacock at Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and Salt and Soil Marketplace.

In gratitude,

Jennifer Nu

Local Foods Program Director, Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition

Food Sustainability Catalyst, Sustainable Southeast Partnership