Alaskans have a long history of sticking together.
The local food community is doing that on Monday in a benefit for Gideon Davis. Gideon is the son of Alex and Kathy Davis of A.D. Farm.
Alex Davis has been integral in the success of the Center Market in Midtown Anchorage and his produce is there weekly.
Gideon, who turns 1-year-old today, was diagnosed with a form of bladder cancer in November. Since then, the Davis family has been back and forth between Portland and Anchorage for various treatments.
Monday's fundraiser is at the downtown Hott Stixx restaurant, with chefs Mike Dodge of Hott Stixx and Rob Kinneen providing the cooking and much of the food coming from Davis' own A.D. Farm.
The five-course meal starts at 6 p.m.; Alaska-brewed beer will be provided by Midnight Sun Brewery. Tickets are $50; Dodge is encouraging people to consider coming as a group of four. There also will be a silent auction and entertainment.
Dodge, executive chef and partner at Hott Stixx, says tickets are selling fast. For those unable to attend the dinner or for those who want to extend the evening, Dodge is planning a donation-only after party featuring music "and more good food. It's a free-for-all; come and hang out and support Alex and his family."
The five-course meal will feature Alaska products in every course, including roasted pork from Davis' farm as the main course. Other Alaska products include carrots, beets, parsnips, eggs, rhubarb and Matanuska Creamery cheese curds.
Davis writes this in an email: "Every year we have had the business we have done a little better, but we are not financially equipped to take on all of these challenges at one time. We need your support both at the market and at the fundraiser."
While Davis says the family has insurance for the health care costs, proceeds from the fundraiser will help support the family with travel and other "unforeseen expenses affiliated with cancer."
Davis says the family will be on a plane to Portland next Wednesday for Gideon's next treatment.
Dodge met Davis shortly after Hott Stixx opened two years ago.
"I found Alex at the market the first summer we were open," Dodge said. "He started making deliveries of fresh produce directly to the door of the restaurant. I get great products from him year-round."
Dodge is still collecting items for the silent auction, and those wishing to donate can contact the restaurant.
While Davis will be at home with Gideon today, his produce and other items will be at the Center Market at The Mall at Sears. The market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Davis' products include: a variety of pork cuts; jams; fresh eggs; and produce -- white, purple and yellow carrots; three varieties of beets; and three varieties of potatoes.
Duane Clark will be taking care of Davis' items. Clark's lineup includes: local honey, Alaska grass-fed beef, local chicken, frozen Alaska seafood and goat cheese.
New this week are potted herbs provided by Mile 5.2 Greenhouse in Eagle River. Among the herbs are chives and basil.
Clark said Sleeping Lady Alaskan Foods has joined the market and will have pre-packaged items like salmon, halibut and clam chowders that are ready to take home. It also will have House of Bread products like raspberry swirl, sourdough and oatmeal applesauce breads.
The Rempel Family Farm also will be at today's market. Mark Rempel expects to have stripetti squash, carrots, parsnips, three varieties of beets and seven kinds of potatoes.
Last week's weather threw a curve at the Rempels
"The rain we received late last week made more work for us," Mark said. "Added to the foot of snow that refused to slide off one of our greenhouses, it gently crushed the steel frame to a mangled mess that will be a large task to repair before it can be heated in the soon-coming spring. Ah, the joys of farming in Alaska!"
From the sea
John Jackson at New Sagaya Markets says things are fairly quiet on the seafood front. Fresh cod is the still the big news, with fillets at $5.99 per pound. He expects to have fresh Southeast side-stripe shrimp in the store by the weekend.
"Still pretty slim pickings, but we are getting there to spring," he said.
Also available are tropical fish from Hawaii, including marlin, tuna and albacore tuna.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.