Frosts starting to take a toll on farmers

Daily News correspondentSeptember 11, 2012 

Photo by STEVE EDWARDS People check out the greens at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Satuday. The recent morning frosts will likely be changing the look of markets with more bulk vegetables and less greens.

Farmers and other market vendors have to be ready to go with the flow when it comes to weather.

Consider these reports:

"We have had several frosts that have ended peas, beans and zucchini," says Mark Rempel of Rempel Family Farm. "The plus is that now we can see the winter squash so we will be harvesting them."

"The frost has taken my outside dahlias, but my goal is to have blooms all through September with a little heat assistance in my high tunnel," says Rob Wells, who will have flowers at the Anchorage Farmers Market.

Also from the Anchorage Farmers Market, is this report from Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics: "It's acting like fall already. A couple of frosty mornings this past weekend have certainly changed the look of the vegetable field! They were hard enough frosts to kill the more sensitive plants and delay field work in the mornings as we wait for the temperature to go above freezing. It's just what we like for the potato crop. Frost-killed plants are nature's way of helping us to cure the potatoes so they sustain less damage during harvest and store better. The look of the market will change slightly too, with more bulk vegetables appearing, and fewer tender leafy greens."

And last week's strong wind that knocked out power to large portions of Anchorage, played havoc with the production schedule at Rise & Shine Bakery. Shoppers at the market Saturday might have been disappointed.

"Dan and Alison of Rise & Shine Bakery would like to express their apologies for not being at the market last week," says Alison Arians. "They were without power from Tuesday until late Friday night, which made baking for the market impossible. However, they will be back (barring another catastrophic windstorm) this Saturday, with the loaves they were planning for last Saturday."

And this will be Rise & Shine's last week at the South Anchorage Farmers Market. They will have flax seed, levain and spent grain loaves, along with fruited almond and onion rye hearth loaves. Find them at www. riseandshinebread.com for their winter baking schedule.

Other vendors at the market include: Rempel Family Farm with carrots, cauliflower, beets, shungiku, mizuna, tatsoi, collard greens, mustard, green onions, arugula, kale, spinach, tatsoi, mizuna, bok choi, Napa cabbage, turnips, cilantro, broccoli, daikon radish, spaghetti squash and sugar pumpkins; Two Sisters' Greenhouse will be highlighting the red potato Chieftains this week and will also have freshly harvested Yukon golds, magic myrnas and French fingerlings on sale, along with heirloom tomatoes, English cucumbers, fresh basil, dill and tarragon, kale and kohlrabi and wild blueberry products; Arctic Choice Seafood will have a large selection, including shrimp, gold king crab, scallops, oysters, halibut, cod and rockfish; and Glacier Valley Farm with cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, onions and zucchini picked before the frost.

At the Anchorage Farmers Market, Arctic Organics will feature mache, carrots (both loose and in 5-pound bags for $12.75), lots of potatoes, three varieties of beets, zucchini, broccoli, daikon, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, celery, kohlrabi, kales, rainbow chard, collards, tat soi, greens mix, lettuces, herbs (basil, three varieties of parsley, chervil, thyme, marjoram, sage and lovage) and cut flowers.

The Center Market includes some new items from A.D. Farm, including purple carrots, white carrots and Brussels sprouts. Items Alex Davis has had at previous markets include carrots, salad mix, fava beans, lettuce, broccoli, five varieties of cauliflower, pork chops, side pork, steaks, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage and ground pork.

Davis also is going to give market visitors the chance to name two of his new pigs. "The 19th I am getting two Large Black breed pigs in from Outside," he says. "You can enter a name for each girl, and we will draw the name on the 19th. The name will appear on their purebred registration."

So put on your pig-name thinking caps and get busy.

Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at sedwards@adn.com.

Farmers markets

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

Saturday: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15th and Cordova in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot; 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

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