JUNEAU, Alaska — Farm-fresh eggs, flash-frozen rockfish, dandelion jelly, Sitka spruce tips, plant starts, sourdough bread, vegetables and much more are all available for sale straight from the producer through the newly reopened online food hub the Salt & Soil Marketplace. The nonprofit marketplace has launched its sixth season connecting Southeast Alaska food consumers with growers, fishermen, foragers, and gardeners. The marketplace aims to keep growing its impact by supporting local food producers while making access to high quality, local foods easier for Southeast residents.
“The marketplace is a unique opportunity in which producers and consumers can come together on one platform. Customers can shop local foods from vendors throughout Southeast communities and producers have an easily accessible, low barrier market to sell their products,” said Meghan Stangeland, Salt & Soil Marketplace Distribution Coordinator.
Salt & Soil Marketplace represents food producers from Juneau, Haines, Sitka, Gustavus, Cordova, and Klawock. Customers view offerings and place their orders online, then collect the delicious local foods at our distribution location on the weekly market day. Shopping the marketplace is free for the first three orders, then customers are asked to become a Marketplace member for $25 a year. Every week, members have the choice of whether or not to place an order and what they would like to select from the seasonal offerings. The Marketplace prioritizes value and quality and offers a Healthy Food = Healthy Families program which grants qualifying families a sponsorship to spend $25 per week at the Marketplace on fresh produce and seafood.
For local producers, Salt & Soil Marketplace makes it easy to connect with people in the community who want to buy their seasonal offerings, and for many southeast producers expands their customer base beyond their home community increasing sales opportunities. The easy-to-use online Marketplace allows producers to adjust the types and quantities of foods they have to offer week-by-week, allowing producers to take into account seasonality, harvesting logistics, and other factors that are a part of real, local food production.
As a nonprofit Marketplace, meeting the needs of community and producers is the ultimate goal of the Marketplace. Supporting local economies keeps food dollars circulating within the region and provides high quality local foods to neighbors, creating an impact that extends into all aspects of life in Southeast Alaska.
This year, Salt & Soil Marketplace became a project of Ecotrust, a Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit that has worked at the intersection of equity, economy, and the environment for more than 30 years. Ecotrust works across the region from California to Alaska and has had a presence in Alaska since the mid-nineties. They have deep connections in the Copper River basin where they developed the Copper River Knowledge System and supported a number of salmon focused projects.
More recently Ecotrust has focused their efforts on building partnerships in Southeast Alaska by supporting the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership and participating in the Keex’ Kwaan Community Forest Partnership. Now a member of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, Ecotrust is connecting its experience in food systems, supply chain logistics, food equity, and farm-to-school with the deep place-based knowledge and connections of the local Salt & Soil team. With plans to sustain the strong community Salt & Soil Marketplace created with the support of its previous nonprofit steward the Southeast Alaska Watershed Council, the team is looking ahead for more opportunities into the future.
On the farm, at the coast, in the forest, and across our cities, Ecotrust works in partnership towards an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. We recognize the legacy of colonialism and the deep inequities of this place, and we believe that radical, practical change is possible and necessary. Since 1991, we have created durable change and sparked ideas across the globe. Learn more ecotrust.org.