It's a bit fickle in the weather department lately. One day it's sunny and warm, the next overcast and chilly. Regardless, the farmers markets are packing in the produce.
"The sunny weather has helped our crops out in the Valley," say the folks at Midnight Sun Farms and the Spenard Farmers Market. "We will be bringing fresh spinach, mixed spring greens, nutty arugula and delightfully sweet butter lettuce. Also be on the lookout for our first batch of fresh baby kale, which tastes great sauteed up for Saturday night's dinner. As always there will be an assortment of jams and jellies, featuring our newest flavor, Sitka rose petal jelly."
Says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market: "We're gaining momentum! This week we plan to have the first of the white turnips, kale, watercress, Chinese cabbage, rainbow chard, mibuna and zucchini!"
But this is the report for Arthur Keyes of Glacier Valley Farm and the South Anchorage Farmers Markets: "Looks like it really is going to be a cool summer; it has been rumored that we saw a temperature of 38 degrees on Monday morning. Regardless of these cool temps we will have more strawberries on Wednesday and Saturday, quantities are limited so come early."
Here are some other highlights from the two South Anchorage Farmers Markets -- Wednesday at the Dimond Center and Saturday at the Subway/Cellular One Sports Center.
The Chef at the Market returns to the South Anchorage location Saturday. "Delicious" Dave Thorne will be cooking up some market-fresh food for sampling. Vendors on Saturday include Northern Lights Mushrooms, Alaska Coffee Roastery, Joan's Jams, Alaska Sprouts, Stockwell Farm, Three Bears Farm, VanderWeele Farm, Earthworks Farm and others.
Arctic Choice Seafoods will be at the market with fresh king and sockeye salmon fillets, halibut fillets, sablefish fillets, side-stripe shrimp, golden king crab, scallops and razor clam meat, along with other options.
Wednesday's market will feature Glacier Valley Farm, Stockwell Farm and Earthworks Farm. Keyes says Glacier Valley should have strawberries, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes.
In addition to Midnight Sun Farms, the Spenard Farmers Market will be stocked with growers, including Chugach Farm, Sexton Farm, Vitali Seldovich, Spring Creek Farm, Grass Roots Services, Ba-lescas Brothers and Wild Rose Alaska Natural Harvest. Produce includes carrots, radicchio, beets, parsnips, onions and radishes.
Poi Boy Fishing will have smoked salmon, ling cod and rockfish from the Homer area, while Marshmelanie will have new flavors of gourmet marshmallows including bacon flavored. Hedge Pottery will have plates, bowls and mugs, and Mez Alaskan Pottery will be there showing off new designs of their handmade ceramic dinnerware.
Wednesday's Northway Mall Farmers Market will feature plenty of fresh produce from the Rempel Family Farm, including "new this week -- broccoli, daikon radish and, if the wind doesn't thrash them again, squash blossoms." Other produce includes carrots, red and golden beets, mizuna, collard greens, tender green onions, arugula, kale, bok choi, Napa cabbage and salad mix. The Rempel's items are also at the South Anchorage Saturday Market.
Dinkel's Veggies will also be at Wednesday's Northway Mall Market -- and at several other markets, including the Downtown Market and Festival and Wednesday's Wasilla market. They will have zucchini, beans, broccoli and strawberries.
The Anchorage Farmers Market will include a large number of vendors. Arctic Organics will have the aforementioned first-of-the-year items and radishes, pac choi, lettuce, arugula, scallions, greens mix, spinach and some of last year's potatoes. They also will have hardy for Alaska apple trees and some fertilizer.
The Center Market, which is open both Wednesday and Saturday, will have its regular vendors. Alex Davis of A.D. Farm has fresh rhubarb and salad mix, along with chicken and duck eggs.
"A couple weeks ago I had some pigs butchered, so I am reloaded on some cuts that haven't been seen in a while like side pork, pork chops, ground pork, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage; we still have our pork roasts, pork steaks and spicy sausage," Davis says.
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.
Farmers markets WEDNESDAY: NORTHWAY MALL WEDNESDAY FARMERS MARKET, NORTHWAY MALL PARKING LOT, 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M.; SOUTH ANCHORAGE FARMERS MARKET, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M., BEHIND THE DIMOND CENTER; WASILLA FARMERS MARKET, 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M., BEHIND THE WASILLA PUBLIC LIBRARY THURSDAY: PETERS CREEK FARMERS MARKET, 3-7 P.M., AMERICAN LEGION POST 33 FRIDAY: PALMER FRIDAY FLING, 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. AT THE PAVILION ACROSS FROM VISITOR'S CENTER SATURDAY: ANCHORAGE FARMERS MARKET, 9 A.M. TO 2 P.M. AT 15TH AND CORDOVA IN THE CENTRAL LUTHERAN CHURCH PARKING LOT; ANCHORAGE MARKET AND FESTIVAL, 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M., THIRD AVENUE BETWEEN C AND E STREETS; CENTER MARKET, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M., THE MALL AT SEARS, BENSON BOULEVARD AND DENALI STREET; EAGLE RIVER FARMERS MARKET, IN FRONT OF MIKE'S MEATS, 10 A.M. TO 3 P.M.; FARM MARKET AT THE BARN, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M., GLACIER VALLEY FARM, GLENN HIGHWAY AND INNER SPRINGER LOOP ROAD; SOUTH ANCHORAGE FARMERS MARKET, 9 A.M. TO 2 P.M., SUBWAY/CELLULAR ONE SPORTS CENTER AT THE CORNER OF OLD SEWARD HIGHWAY AND O'MALLEY ROAD; SPENARD FARMERS MARKET, 9 A.M. TO 2 P.M., SPENARD ROAD AND 26TH AVENUE SUNDAY: ANCHORAGE MARKET AND FESTIVAL, 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M., THIRD AVENUE BETWEEN C AND E STREETS