All the good growing weather is sprouting a new farmers market this week.
The Northway Mall Wednesday Farmers Market opens its 14th season at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The market continues through Oct. 2.
"We have zucchini. This is earlier than we expected and others too, so folks will want to show up early to both markets so make sure they get some," says Lesley Dinkel of Dinkel's Veggies. "Both yellow and green will be available but the quantities are limited."
In addition to the Northway Mall Market, the Dinkel's will be at Saturday's Downtown Market and Festival.
Another vendor lined up for the market is Papa Bamarito's Specialty Fruit Stand. While the fruit is not Alaskan, the operators certainly have deep roots here -- the family has lived in Alaska for more than 40 years.
"For 23 years, Papa B's has been serving Anchorage's hunger for excellent eating summer fruit from various street corner and lot stands, and markets around the city and surrounding communities," says Liz Thomas. "Papa B's fruit is tree ripened. Most of the fruit available to us in town is not. When our fruit is harvested it is 'bucket picked' as opposed to 'bin picked.' Our fruit is picked in small batches so they are able to pick riper fruit and prevent bruising."
Bill Webb of Webb's Consulting, which operates the market, says there will be a large number of vendors on hand, including: Remple Family Farm, Stockwell Farm, Vang Farm, International Gardens, Joy's Filipino Foods, Long's Kettle Corn and House of Bread.
Veggie season definitely has people eating green, but what about being green?
The Spenard Farmers Market offers both options. This Saturday, it's Bike Day at the market.
There will be bike racks for pedal pushers and the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage, a non-profit organization dedicated to transitioning Anchorage to a safe, bicycle-friendly city, will be at the market. Brian Litmans of BCA says they will "answer any questions people have about biking in Anchorage, including route choices, bike gear, clothing and, of course, how to get around the city safely while having fun."
For those needing a tune-up, Off The Chain Bike Repair will be available for tune-ups and information on all things bicycle.
When it comes to "green" things -- to eat, plant or otherwise -- consider some of these options: Vitali Family Farm is already harvesting baseball-size red tomatoes and green leaf lettuce; Woolwood Studio will be back with hardy cold weather perennials and a wide variety of 3-to-4-foot tall lilies; Wildrose Alaska Natural Harvests will have two tables of infused honeys and Blackberry Mustard that would make a great barbecue rub; Ba-Lescas Brothers will have enormous red radishes, sweet red-leaf lettuce, mint, traditional Mexican bread and products from Alaska Sprouts; and Brown Dog Farm will have freshly rinsed Arugula, baby spinach and a spring greens mix. Other items at the market include fresh Alaska seafood, rhubarb and foods from Organic Oasis, Urban Bamboo and Bistro Red Beet.
At the Anchorage Farmers Market, Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics continues to enjoy the superb summertime weather.
"Things are continuing to thrive in this warm weather we're having," she says. "It's doing wonders to start to make up for the cold spring and late break up which caused such a delay in planting.
"The basil is in its prime! It was planted right on schedule in the heated greenhouse in spite of the cold spring. Now's the time to think about putting up some pesto!"
Other items expected at the Beans' stand include leaf, romaine and red oak leaf lettuces; spinach; pac choi; kale by the bunch; baby kale by the pound; greens mix; arugula and baby arugula; and some potatoes.
Look for these other vendors: Bushes Bunches, Persistent Farmer, Seldovitch Farm, LivenGreen, Fee's Seafood, Turkey Red baked goods, ACAT compost tea and new this week is Magpie Sue @ the Market, serving breakfasts and lunches prepared with fresh farm produce.
The Center Market, open on Wednesdays, includes most of its regular vendors. Country Health Foods will be featuring grass-fed beef, free-range duck, Alaska seafood, chicken and duck eggs, flowers, jams, salsas, rhubarb and items from Alaska Sprouts, including sprouts, tofu and basil plants.
The South Anchorage Farmers Market will have more than 15 vendors with selections from freshly-baked bread to seafood to chocolate mint to baby turnips and beets.
Here are some market highlights:
• Arctic Choice will have fresh sockeye salmon, king salmon, halibut, cod, rockfish and sablefish, all in different forms such as whole, fillets, cheeks and stuffed. Featured this week is rockfish and sablefish marinated in miso sauces and ready to cook.
• Rempel Family Farm will have arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, a salad mix, spinach, radishes, cress, kales, rhubarb, mint and small snow apple turnips.
• Glacier Valley Farm will have English and Japanese cucumbers, baby bunch turnips and beets, and fresh Alaska strawberries.
• Gray Owl Farm will be focusing on perennials and houseplants. They have ornamental peppers (edible and hot), along with chocolate and ginger mints, pineapple and honey melon sage and some French tarragon.
• Earthworks Farm with is Abeille Alaska lineup of beeswax and honey body care products. They are also available at Wednesday's Center Market.
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.
TUESDAY: EAGLE RIVER FARMERS MARKET, 3-7 P.M., VFW POST PARKING LOT
WEDNESDAY: CENTER MARKET, 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M., THE MALL AT SEARS, BENSON BOULEVARD AND DENALI STREET; NORTHWAY MALL FARMERS MARKET, 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M., NORTHWAY MALL; WASILLA FARMERS MARKET, 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M., BEHIND THE WASILLA PUBLIC LIBRARY
THURSDAY: PETERS CREEK FARMERS MARKET & CRAFTS, 3-7 P.M., 21643 OLD GLENN HIGHWAY
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; 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 STREETSLocal farmers markets