It's Alaska State Fair time, which means the giant vegetables are at the fairgrounds in Palmer.
But there are plenty of more user-friendly sized crops at various markets around Southcentral.Spenard Farmers Market
"The market is really cruising these days with lots and lots of produce from the Valley, crafts from local artists and delicious offering from various food vendors," says Jae Shin, Spenard Farmers Market volunteer. "Also, (Saturday) is the second 'matching' day for the food stamp program. Customers with Quest cards will receive $20 in Quest tokens if they spend $20 of their food stamps. That's $40 per customer pumped into our market for eligible items! Food stamp/Quest token eligible items include Alaskan-grown fresh produce, cheese, and foods packaged for consumption at home."
Vendors scheduled for Saturday include Glacier Valley Farm, Dinkel's Veggies, Spring Creek Farm, Fresh International Gardens, Midnight Sun Farms, Chugach Farms, Urban Bamboo, Europa Foods and Grandma's Kitchen.
South Anchorage armers Market
The Saturday South Anchorage Market has approximately 25 vendors scheduled to attend, while the Wednesday market near the Dimond Center has three - Glacier Valley Farm, Stockwell Farm and Earthworks Farm.
Saturday vendors include Two Sisters' Greenhouse with a loads of potatoes - magic Myrna, Yukon gold, French red fingerling, chieftans and multicolored baby potatoes - along with heirloom tomatoes, English cucumbers, rhubarb, kohlrabi, fresh herbs and jams and jellies, including no-sugar jams; Arctic Choice Seafood with shrimp, oysters in the shell, razor clam meat, scallops, gold king crab, halibut, rockfish, cod, troll-caught king salmon and smoked sockeye salmon; and the Rempel Family Farm with a huge variety of produce, including tatsoi, collard green, carrots, cauliflower, beets, bok choi, squash blossoms, green cabbage, zucchini, broccoli and nine varieties of potatoes (Rempels will also be at Wednesday's Northway Mall Market).
A sample of other vendors includes Alaska Sprouts, Alaska Coffee Roastery, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Non-essentials, Juice Jelly and Jam, Pinkys Kettle Korn and Dave's Greenhouse with tomatoes.
Anchorage Farmers Market
Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics reports that all the rain Sunday and Monday is good for potatoes: "(It) bodes well for the potatoes, which rely entirely on rainfall for irrigation! Nothing could be better than to follow all that rain with the beautiful sunny day we woke up to on Tuesday. We'll be bringing the bounty of all this weather on Saturday to market! Let's hope the frost holds off until then."
In addition to potatoes, look for romanesco broccoli, large daikon radish, pac choi and sugarsnap peas. Other produce includes beets, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, green cabbage, red cabbage, turnips, fennel, celery, kohlrabi, kale, rainbow chard, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, lettuces and lots of other options.
Other vendors scheduled include Bushes Bunches, Seldovitsch Farm, Persistent Farmer, 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.
Duane Clark offers this warning: "Shelled peas are slowing down and may not be at every market. Alaska Sprouts are with me Wednesday, as well as House of Bread breads.
Clark also has free-range roasting and stewing chickens, grass-fed beef, goat cheese, garlic, herbs and perennial flowers. He also is taking orders for ¼ beef packages.
A.D. Farm will have five varieties of cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, green and purple cabbage, zucchini, salad greens and carrots (Saturday). They will be offering 25 percent off purchases of 10 pounds or more of broccoli and cauliflower. Pork products include chops, fresh side, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage and ground pork.
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