Consortium, Sitka Local Foods Network host garden work parties

Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009

SITKA - Would you like a team of gardeners to work on your garden to rake, clean and prepare it for the upcoming growing season? The Sitka Local Foods Network, in partnership with the SEARHC Diabetes and Health Promotion programs, will offer a series of garden work parties as a fundraiser on Saturday in Sitka.

The garden work parties will feature several crews of three to four workers each who will spend about three hours doing basic garden clean-up and other preparation work for Sitka families who want to have a home vegetable garden. Volunteers still are needed for the morning or afternoon work parties. Sign up to have your garden worked on for minimum donation of $50 per work crew shift. The money benefits the Sitka Local Foods Network

"Gardening is a great activity because of the physical activity and stress reduction, and down the road it results in nutritious food," SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne said.

"This is for people who have gardens or want a garden in their yards, but need help cleaning up or need ideas and help to get started," SEARHC Diabetes Grant Coordinator Maybelle Filler said. "We can supply the labor to get you started growing vegetables. We are your elbow grease."

The crews will do basic garden clean-up only, such as pulling weeds and turning soil with shovels. If lumber, nails and other supplies are provided by the homeowner, the crews might be able to build one or two raised garden beds. The crews are not building retaining walls or providing advanced landscaping services, just working on simple garden clean-up to make things ready for planting.

The Sitka Local Foods Network evolved out of two 2008 Sitka Health Summit priority projects - to expand the community garden program and build a community greenhouse in Sitka, and to start a public market to sell local produce, fish and other foods. The two projects were linked through the network, which also includes gardening education and subsistence foods elements in its plan. Local foods are healthier for you, fresher, tastier and greener (because less fuel is used to transport the food to Sitka).

For more information about the garden work parties, contact Doug Osborne at 907-966-8734 or, or contact Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or, or. For more information about the Sitka Local Foods Network, visit and click on the "greenhouse" and "market" project page links on the left side of the main page, or look for the Sitka Local Foods Network group page on Facebook.

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