New products are popping up at the local farmers markets -- a few potatoes here, some shelled peas there.
And, at Saturday's South Anchorage Farmers Market, free cabbage. That's right, free!
This is how to get one: Visit the market's information booth and sign up for the email newsletter. After signing up, you'll receive a coupon to redeem at the VanderWeele Farms booth for a free cabbage. What could be easier?
There will be plenty of other vendors at the South Anchorage market this week, so you can load up on more than cabbage.
Some of the highlights include: the Rempel Family Farm with carrots, baby red and golden beets, mizuna, tat soi, collard greens, arugula, kale, spinach, bok choi, Napa cabbage, broccoli, daikon radish, squash blossoms, chard, new potatoes and other items (also available at Wednesday's Northway Mall Market); Alaska Sprouts with fresh tofu, bean sprouts, clover sprouts, onion sprouts, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, live basil plants and other items; Two Sister's Greenhouse will have red and Yukon gold new potatoes, heirloom green beans, dilly beans, jams and jellies; Arctic Choice will have a wide variety of seafood, including shellfish items, coho and sockeye salmon, halibut, cod, rockfish and sablefish.
Over at the Spenard Farmers Market it is Pet Day, with a wide variety of pet-friendly vendors planning to be on hand. Vendors include Dogwood Dog Toys, Scotch Pines Dog Training, Petco, Alaska Mill and Feed, and Coop Extension/Scoop the Poop and Off the Chain will be there to welcome pets to the market.
Other vendors at the market include Poi Boy Fishing with lingcod and rockfish, Hedge Pottery with ceramic dinnerware and Sexton Farm with jams and jellies.
The two Center Markets this week will feature a variety of items. Available both Wednesday and Saturday will be fresh shelled peas, of which Duane Clark of Country Health Foods says: "These are the local fresh peas that are fantastic for freezing for the winter."
Clark will also have Alaska-raised beef, chickens and ducks, along with goat cheese and vegetables from Rempel Family Farm. Other items include a full lineup of pork products by A.D. Farm, chicken and duck eggs, lettuces, spinach, cucumbers and tomatoes. Clark says the peas will also be for sale Saturday at the South Anchorage Farmers Market, the Anchorage Farmers Market and the Downtown Market and Festival.
On Wednesday the Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska will be at the market and on Saturday the Antique Power Club of Alaska will have several tractors on display.
At the Anchorage Farmers Market, the vendors include Bushes Bunches, Arctic Organics, Seldovitsch Farm, Persistent Farmer, Matanuska Creamery, Hett's Peas, Stockwell Farm, VanderWeele Farm, LivinGreen, ACAT compost tea, Fee's Custom Seafood and Turkey Red Cafe baked goods.
Arctic Organics will have broccoli, lettuces, white turnips, several varieties of kale, rainbow chard, collards, spinach, zucchini, tat soi, radishes, sorrel, arugula, watercress, herbs and cut flowers.
The Persistent Farmer will be back with Matanuska Creamery dairy products, along with fresh cut dahlia blooms.
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