From dahlias to pork fat, the farmers market options are outstanding this week.
So swing by your favorite market, or try out a different one this week. You can find a market open most days of the week, and new this week is another farm stand in the Valley.
Arthur Keyes of Glacier Valley Farm is setting up a roadside stand Wednesdays and Sundays at the corner of Knik Goose Bay Road and Vine Road in Wasilla. It is open 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Expect to see strawberries and other local produce. "It is finally looking good for the strawberries. There will be quite a few available this week as we head into the fair," Keyes says.
As for those dahlias, the Persistent Farmer will have them Wednesday at the Northway Mall Market and the Center Market and again on Saturday at the Anchorage Farmers Market.
The pork fat is one of the products offered by Alex Davis of A.D. Farm at the Center Market, both Wednesday and Saturday. Davis says the fat is perfect for "rendering or mixing with your fall harvest of moose or caribou." Additionally, he will have pork chops, steaks, fresh side, sliced liver, sausage and ground pork. Davis' farm is also producing cauliflower in five varieties, along with three types of lettuce, beets, cabbage, zucchini and broccoli, along with recently produced jams.
Davis is joined at the Center Market by Duane Clark, who will have fresh tomatoes, shelled peas, grass-fed beef, local free-range chicken and duck, sockeye and king salmon, and goat cheese. Wednesday only, he will have sprouts from Alaska Sprouts and bread from the House of Bread.
Mark Rempel of the Rempel Family Farm is excited with something new from the fields: "New this week are sugar snap peas! These plump sweet packages of juiciness are great snacks and additions to a lunch bag."
Rempels peas are available at the Northway Mall Market on Wednesday and South Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturday. He also will have carrots, cauliflower, a variety of beets, mizuna, green onions, collard greens, Napa cabbage, turnips, broccoli, chard, new potatoes and a salad mix, along with other produce.
Joining Rempel at the South Anchorage Market are several other vendors, including VanderWeele Farms, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Stockwell Farm, Alaska Sprouts, Joan's Jams and Jellies, Country Garden Farm, Earthworks Farm, Arctic Choice Seafood and Rise & Shine Bakery with toasted walnut, kalamata olive, levain, spent grain and fruited almond breads.
Saturday's market also includes a benefit for the Alaska Farmland Trust featuring wine by WineStyles. For $10, guests can sample three wines and a dessert.
The Spenard Farmers Market will be busy this week -- even more busy than normal. In addition to the loads of vendors, this week the market is sponsoring the Children's Lunchbox Food Drive and hosting a special Kids' Flea Market. Those participating in the flea market donated food to the Lunch Box program and will be selling "gently used" children's items. And growers will also be donating produce to the Lunch Box program Saturday.
Market volunteer Cindy Shake says the community can support the effort as well. "The public is invited to help feed hungry Alaska kids by bringing items such as canned goods, granola bars, fruit cups, soup or other nonperishable foods for the food drive on Saturday," she said.
Vendors to look for this week include Dinkel's Family Farm with onions, tomatoes and lettuce; Glacier Valley Farm with onions, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries and zucchini; Grass Roots with fresh-cut flowers; and P&M Gardens with baskets, shrubs and plants.
Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market says "summer is in full bloom" and it includes locally grown flowers like sunflowers, zinnias, asters, snapdragons and larkspur. Also new this week at the market is fennel, celery, red cabbage and radicchio di Treviso, along with "more carrots, three colors of beets, abundant zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower." That is, of course, just the tip of the vegetable list.
Other vendors include Bushes Bunches, Seldovitsch Farm, Matanuska Creamery, Hett's Peas, Stockwell Farm, VanderWeele Farm, LivinGreen, Vera's Greenhouses, ACAT compost tea, Fee's Custom Seafood and Turkey Red Cafe baked goods.
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.
Wednesday: Center Market, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; 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