It doesn't matter whether it's growers or fishers, it's busy.
"It is a crazy time in the seafood world with fish coming in from all over the state," says Dannon Southall from 10th & M Seafoods.
"The first weekend in August is living up to its reputation and then some," says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market. "The list of vegetables we'll be bringing to market is growing!"
"This good weather has everyone just as happy as their gardens! Tables and tubs are loaded with the beautiful colors of a successful harvest at the peak of an Alaska summer," says Cindy Shake, the Spenard Farmers Market's community and media relations volunteer.
From the sea
Troll-caught Southeast coho salmon are going for $7.50 per pound headed and gutted and $10.95 per pound for fillets at 10th & M.
"If you were not able to get enough sockeye dip netting or have them all in the freezer, we will have fresh this week. These fish are coming from the cold waters around Kodiak Island," Southall says of the red beauties.
Other seafood options include halibut ($8.50 per pound for headed and gutted, $19.95 per pound for fillets), cod ($6.95 per pound for fillets) and fresh Prince William Sound spot and side stripe shrimp.
From the fields
The farmers markets certainly aren't slowing down.
Bean says that the Anchorage Farmers Market will have a full lineup of vendors, including Bushes Bunches, Arctic Organics, Persistent Farmer, Stockwell Farms, VanderWeele Farms, Seldovitch Farm, LivenGreen, Home Garden, Ba-Lescas Brothers, Turkey Red rustic breads and baked goods, ACAT compost tea and Magpie Sue serving breakfasts and lunches prepared with fresh farm produce.
"We'll have sugarsnap peas, cabbage, snow apple turnips, broccoli, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, zucchini, radishes and possibly baby carrots," Beans says.
Arctic Organics also has loads of herbs and fresh greens, including rainbow chard, mustard greens, red giant mustard, turnip greens, watercress, leaf lettuces, butter lettuce, romaine, escarole, radicchio, spinach, kale and arugula.
Rob Wells, the Persistent Farmer, has this to report: "The first of my dahlia bloom is happening and I will have a limited selection on Saturday with many more coming in the next two months."
It's Love Your Pet Day at the Spenard Farmers Market on Saturday. Special community vendors include Straw For Dogs, an all-volunteer, nonprofit that provides supplies and resources for pets outdoors; and Big Woof Dog Treats is back and will have a batch of chicken jerky treats with all natural ingredients and no preservatives.
The Spenard Farmers Market Information booth will also have free information on pet spaying and neutering, pet adoption as well as many coupons and even a limited number of free dog treats. The Anchorage Waterways Council will be on hand with information for the community on the importance of cleaning up after our pets.
Other select vendors include: Woolwood Studio and Gardens will have blooming hearty perennials, and a sale on remaining perennials; Alaska Gourmet Seafood will have Alaska king crab (see recipe) and fresh halibut; Ba-lascas Brothers will have snow peas, fava beans and strawberries; Dinkel's Veggies will feature vine-ripened tomatoes, along with zucchini, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce and pickling cucumbers; Fishalicious will be firing up the grill for king crab legs and crab cakes; and new vendor the Pie Stop will be making peanut butter pie, Dutch apple, pecan, rhubarb and banana cream pie Saturday.
At the South Anchorage Farmers Market, new vendor Dave's Greenhouse will be down from Fairbanks with tomatoes, including heirloom varieties. Select returning vendors include: Arctic Choice will have fresh king and coho salmon, fresh halibut, cod, rockfish and sablefish, along with side stripe shrimp, oysters in the shell, scallops, razor clam meat and other seafood items; Rempel Family Farm will feature bunches of carrots, broccoli, zucchini, arugula, radishes, onions, kohlrabi, kale, lettuces and new red potatoes; Glacier Valley Farm with strawberries, onions, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes; Two Sisters Greenhouse with a variety of new potatoes, green beans, rhubarb, basil and pickled hot dilly beans; Three Bears Farm; Alaska Sprouts; VanderWeele Farm; and Nonessentials.
RECIPE: Spenard king crab cakes
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup minced celery
3/4 to 1 pound crabmeat, shell pieces removed, drain or squeeze meat to remove water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
--Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon canola oil to pan. Add red onion and celery. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
--Combine crab, onion mixture, eggs, dry mustard, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and parsley; mix until combined. Add panko or breadcrumbs; stir gently. Divide mixture into equal portions and flatten to 1/2-inch thick patties. Dredge in additional panko. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.
--Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Add crab cakes and cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn over and cook 3 minutes or until done.
--Serve with lemon wedges.
Source: Alaska Gourmet Seafood
TUESDAY: EAGLE RIVER FARMERS MARKET, 3-7 P.M., VFW POST PARKING LOT
WEDNESDAY: CENTER MARKET, 10 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; SOUTH ANCHORAGE FARMERS MARKET, DIMOND CENTER, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M.; 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: MAT VALLEY MEATS, 6175 EAST PALMER WASILLA HIGHWAY, 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M., 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, THE MALL AT SEARS, 10 A.M. TO 7 P.M.; 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
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.