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August 2015 Newsletter
AFPC at the Alaska Plants as Food and Medicine Conference
AFPC member Ellen Parry Tyler talks about her experience at the Alaska Native Plants as Food and Medicine Symposium

This June, the AFPC was lucky enough to participate in the Alaska Native Plants as Food and Medicine Symposium's Community Solstice Celebration.  AFPC member Ellen Parry Tyler set up an afternoon of activities for kids, who made crayon rubbings of native plants and took our challenge to identify plants as Alaska Grown, Alaska native, or imported. 
Ellen shares what she learned at the conference in this fantastic article!
Upcoming Food Events Around Alaska
Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz
Fairbanks, August 17, 2015
Savor Wild Alaska Week
Fairbanks, August 22-30, 2015
The Tanana Valley Watershed Association is offering a week of low-cost and free #SavorWildAlaska classes to teach safe and sustainable techniques for getting food from our big, wild backyard.  Classes range from free lectures on poisonous plants to short courses on berries, cutting fish, and even fermentation!  The week of fun will culminate on Sunday, August 30th with a Savor Wild Alaska Potluck Feast from 5-8pm at the Folk School (2861 Beverley Lane).  This week of fun is brought to you by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tanana Valley Watershed Association, The Folk School, Calypso Farm and Ecology Center, and Cooperative Extension Service, and other partners.  See the full list of classes and sign up here:

Even if you won't be in Fairbanks to take a class, you can participate in TWVA's programs through Instagram -  All month we would like to encourage you to take pictures of your rich bounty (wild fish and meat, berries and other natural harvests, and post them on Instagram - with the #ShareYourPlate and #SavorWildAK tags.
Severine von Tscharner Fleming
September 17-25, 2015
Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York.  She is founder and director of The Greenhorns, a grassroots cultural organization with the mission to promote, recruit and support a growing movement of young farmers and ranchers in America. 

Severine will be traveling around Alaska from September 17 - 25, with stops in Homer, Anchorage, and Palmer.

Homer Halibut Festival
September 19, 2015
The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is kicking off the first annual Homer Halibut Festival in 2015! Halibut has played an essential role in building Homer’s diverse fisheries, becoming important to both the economy and culture of the community. The day’s activities will provide ample opportunity to learn about halibut science and fisheries, enjoy a community meal with friends, and through music, storytelling and art honor the fish and fishing traditions that have enriched the End of the Road.
Save the Date: Food Festival & Conference
February 26-28

AFPC is planning the 2016 Food Festival & Conference.  Our inaugural festival in November 2014 was a huge success with over 300 guests.  We are looking forward to a bigger and better event in February 2016.

The event page will be operating soon.  If you would be interested in volunteering at the festival or have suggestions for workshops - please get in touch with us by email at, or on Facebook!
Meet the New Members of the AFPC Board!
Melissa Sikes serves as the Natural Resources Education Specialist for the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District. Melissa grew up in northern Rhode Island, went to college at Unity College in Maine and got her Bachelors of Science in Outdoor Recreation in 1990. She has worked as a naturalist pretty much since then, starting out at residential environmental education centers in Rhode Island, New York, and California; then working for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection running a teacher training program for 6 years, then at the Calgary Zoo in Alberta Canada for 2 years, then at Friends of Creamer's Field for 4 years.  She met her husband Derek, who is a UAF professor and the curator of insects at the University of Alaska Museum, in 1989 at an environmental education summer camp in Rhode Island. They have 3 daughters, Kaley Amelia and Nina, who are all grown now at ages 21 and 22 (she has twins). She loves to quilt, bird, garden, and drink tea.
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