Southeast Alaska’s coastal fishing communities, natural resource economies, and subsistence way of life are all deeply connected to the watersheds that support healthy salmon runs, wild game, and wild edibles. Maintaining these wild food sources requires sustainable management of lands and waters.
Local Food Systems
We envision a localized food system that supports resilient, self-sustaining communities, stewardship of natural resources and ecosystems, and promotes community well-being.
Our work aims to bolster local food systems at the community and regional level in Southeast Alaska by creating more local value from our current food supply chain.
Strategies include increasing locally cultivated and/or wild harvested foods to displace imported foods that rely on a vulnerable system. We support efforts to reduce food waste and for nutrient and waste recovery systems to create local soil and soil amendments. Our programs promote local and traditional food system knowledge and engagement through educational programming and activities that foster stewardship of local ecosystems that support edible natural resources.
The Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) are interested in supporting more resilient community food systems in Southeast Alaska. Supported by a USDA Specialty Crop grant, we are conducting a feasibility study to help inform current and potential commercial growers with identifying promising markets for locally-grown mushrooms and other considerations for establishing a successful mushroom cultivation business.
Results of the study will be published and posted online as a free resource on the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, Salt and Soil Marketplace, and partner websites that include the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, the Alaska Food Policy Council, and the Sitka Local Foods Network.
The final report and a one-page infographic handout summarizing key points will be shared with stakeholders and distributed via email, social media, and print to those who participated in the study, along with current producers in Southeast Alaska. The report and summary will also be shared at relevant local food and producer gatherings, such as the 2021 Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit, and the next Alaska Food Policy Council conference.
Starting in 2022, Salt And Soil Marketplace will be housed at Ecotrust, a non-profit that focuses on creating an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future.
Southeast Alaska’s online farmers market – Salt & Soil connects Southeast Alaska food consumers with growers, fishermen, foragers, and gardeners through a community marketplace that merges the best of online and real-time shopping.
The Marketplace helps support local economies, keeps food dollars within our region and provides high quality local foods to our neighbors, helping Southeast Alaska be more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous. Learn more
A bi-annual event bringing together the region’s food producers to share, learn, and connect; builiding a strong network aimed at increasing Southeast Alaska’s production of local foods and agricultural business capacity.
Each year Moby will travel to a different Southeast Alaskan community where it will live for a whole growing season, starting March or April through September or October. The greenhouse will be delivered equipped with soil, a teacher guide, and an activity manual for grades K-12. The recipient will be responsible for providing seeds to plant and will be chosen based on their commitment and readiness. Moby is a project of the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership.
- Food Catalyst Fellowship – Apply now! February 16, 2021The Sustainable Southeast Partnership, Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition(SAWC), and Spruce Root are thrilled to launch a six month-long fellowship designed to bring together Southeast Alaskans who are interested in catalyzing projects to promote food security and food sovereignty in rural Alaska Native communities. A cohort of up to six fellows will receive training in business and ...
- Transportation Challenges October 15, 2020In more than three years we have planned and executed a food hub in Southeast Alaska as a way to solve the most critical challenge in order for food producers, especially vegetable farmers, to grow their operations and access larger urban markets. Here are our lessons learned regarding the challenges that transportation continues to pose ...
- Path to Prosperity focuses on Local Foods: Twelve Entrepreneurs Compete for Award to Grow Business July 13, 2017The Path to Prosperity (P2P) business development competition has selected 12 finalists to advance to the second round of the 2017 program. P2P aims to identify and support new and growing small businesses in Southeast Alaska, especially those implementing sustainable practices into their business models. These businesses’ leadership is key to building social, economic, and ...
- Growing Produce in Southeast Alaska: Economic Opportunities in the Last Frontier May 22, 2017Most of us know that supporting local business and localizing our food system is important, but just how big of an impact could a local food economy have for Southeast Alaska? Members of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, Spruce Root Community Development, Grow Southeast, and the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition partnered to produce a study on the economic ...
- Localizing the Food System: Developing a Food Hub for SE Alaska September 29, 2016In Southeast Alaska, improved access to local foods and a more reliable food supply are critical components of self-reliance and community resiliency. Residents of the region's rural communities face high and rising costs of living, a declining state economy, and dependence upon air and water transport for delivery of basic commodities including food and petroleum products. ...