Fresh Alaska lettuce, grown during the winter, debuts Nov. 28

Daily News correspondentNovember 27, 2012 

Lettuce being grown at Alaska Sprouts. Photo: S.J. Klein

Do you dream of fresh local produce?

Are you simply accepting and enjoying the fall storage crops from local farmers and waiting for next spring?

All of that is about to change. S.J. Klein of Alaska Sprouts will have something new along with those fresh sprouts and shoots available at Wednesday's Center Market -- fresh, locally produced lettuce.

"This time of year we're all looking for signs of life to fight off the bitter cold," Klein says. "We've been experimenting with lettuces and are bringing the first heads to the Wednesday market at Sears Mall.

"Romaine and butter lettuce were grown indoors under the same conditions as our sunflower shoots and bull's blood beet greens (bull's blood is not really green). We'll have all this, as well as our regular sprouts and fresh tofu. Just because you're deficient in vitamin D doesn't mean you need to lack fresh greens too!"

Alaska Sprouts' lineup this week includes: romaine lettuce; butter head lettuce; bull's blood microgreens; bean, onion and clover sprouts; pea, sunflower and daikon shoots; three-bean mixture; live basil plants; and freshly made tofu.

Alex Davis of A.D. Farm says he is stocked up on pork products.

The pork lineup includes loin roast, regular roast, slab bacon, chops, steaks, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage and ground pork. He also will bring duck and chicken eggs with him to the market, along with flower and cereal from Delta Flour Co. He still has plenty of storage crops, including blue, fingerling and peanut potatoes; cabbage; parsnips; Brussels sprouts; golden beets; and carrots in four colors.

More information on Davis' farm and products is available at www.adfarmorganic.com.

The Rempel Family Farm also will have plenty of produce available this week at the market, including carrots; red, Chioggia and golden beets; Snow Apple turnips; green cabbage; daikon radish; parsnips; stripetti squash; sugar pumpkins; and 12 kinds of potatoes to choose from.

Matanuska Creamery products to look for at the Center Market include eggnog in half-gallon containers, along with holiday butters and cheeses and ice cream in several flavors, including peppermint and eggnog.

Duane Clark of Country Health Foods will have frozen turkeys, grass-fed local beef, free-range chicken and duck, honey and goat cheese.

Clark also says market visitors should expect a special guest Wednesday: "Santa Dan at the mall will again endorse our products as fitting for the selective shopper. He chooses carrots from our market for his reindeer."

Christmas Trees

Clark also is operating his seasonal Christmas tree store inside the old Carrs grocery store in Palmer. The trees are from Washington state and come in sizes from 4 to 11 feet.

"These trees have never been frozen," Clark says.

More information about the Christmas trees is available at www.countryhealthfoods.com.

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.

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