The 2019 Southeast Alaska Farmer's Summit took place this year in Sitka. Carol Pate, Brittany King, and two students from Yakutat School attended the summit. Check out this blog post about the summit and the school's future plans for their gardening program.
The Yakutat High School was happy to be able to, thanks to the generous support of the Southeast Sustainable Partnership, Yakutat Community Corporation, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, and the community of Yakutat through fundraiser support, send two students and two staff members to attend the Farmers' Summit in Sitka this February. Yakutat has limited gardening and composting and this group hopes to promote both in the classroom and their own homes and neighborhoods this summer. Samantha, a Yakutat student, shares that she had no idea you could even grow so much in southeast Alaska and hopes to grow flowers to sell in the community this summer. The impact of attending the summit has been immediate. The adult travelers both hope to start their own composts and worm composting projects in the near future and try and expand composting into a school project in the fall. They have immediately started working on the worm composting and are waiting for the thaw to start an outdoor compost. Carol Pate, Yakutat teacher, stated, "I loved the sessions talking to the experts. Getting to ask questions in a small group setting made all the difference for our students." The group is currently expanding their classroom herb garden to add vegetable and flower starts as they get ready for their summer projects. Ordering seeds was a whole new experience from them as they paid attention to whether or not seeds were open-pollinators (something they had never noticed in the past). Favorite presentations for the group included pest control (gotta love those slugs), composting, hydroponics, and hearing about what people are doing to grow plants on our cold, wet, southeast climate.