On July 16-18, the Sitka Kitch project hosted Sarah Lewis of the Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to host four classes in Sitka on the cottage food industry and home canning. These classes were free and paid for by a grant from the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) WISEFAMILIES Traditional Foods program. In addition, Sarah had a table at the Sitka Farmers Market on July 18 where she tested pressure canner gauges.
For those who missed the classes and want to learn more about home canning, the UAF Cooperative Extension Service has a series of online tutorials on its website called “Preserving Alaska’s Bounty.” In addition, Leslie Shallcross from the Anchorage District Office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service will be in town during the Sitka Seafood Festival to teach canning classes on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 6-7, at Sitka Kitch, and on Saturday, Aug. 8, at Sweetland Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. Watch for a class schedule to be posted soon (note, these classes will cost $15 each).
A reminder, pressure canner gauges should be tested at least once a year to make sure they are hitting the right pressures for safe food preservation. For those who couldn’t get to the July 18 Sitka Farmers Market for pressure canner gauge testing, the Sitka District Office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service has a tester in its office and you can call Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440 to set up an appointment for testing. The office also has a variety of resources — many of them free — on home canning, gardening and other topics.
Sitka Kitch is a community wellness project from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit designed to improve food security in Sitka. The different parts of the project include creating a community kitchen Sitka residents can rent to prepare food for their small businesses or to preserve their family harvest of fish, game, or garden veggies; expanding Sitka’s emergency food storage capacity; and providing education about preserving food and building family emergency food pantries.
For more information about the Sitka Kitch project, go to the our Facebook page. For rental information, contact Kristy Miller at [email protected]. Click this link to take a quick tour of the facility.