For Cindy Shake of the Spenard Farmers Market, the Alaska State Fair is inspiring.
Now that the fair is done for another year, it's time to put that inspiration into action.
"Seeing the beautiful canning entries at the Alaska State Fair has inspired many of us," said Shake, the market's community and media relations volunteer. "Trying to stretch our gardens as far as we can into the impending cooler months, it's time to start thinking of ways to preserve summer's bounty."
To celebrate, the Spenard Farmers Market is hosting Food Preservation Day on Saturday. There will be publications from the Cooperative Extension Service, including "Morel Mushrooms -- A Guide for Selection and Use," "Assembling a Can Sealer," "A Harvest of Green Tomatoes," "Canning Basics" and others on making the most of our harvests.
Vendor highlights that might provide some of that bounty for preserving include: Roo's Garden with infused vinegars and organic herb butter; Chugach Farm with leeks, onions, celery, and a new batch of herb salt and pesto; Glacier Valley Farm with carrots, kohlrabi and sweet salad onions; Brown Dog Farm with carrots, beets and red onions; Ba-Lescas Brothers with celery; and Dinkel's Veggies with carrots, red potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.
At the Center Market, open Wednesday and Saturday, Alex Davis said the big news isn't at the market but at the farm.
"We are going to have four litters of pigs at the end of the week and we are going to start pulling potatoes and all of our carrot varieties this week," said Davis of A.D. Farm.
He will have orange, purple, yellow and white carrots available this week. He will also have Yukon gold, peanut, French fingerling, German butterball potatoes and all blue potatoes; three varieties of beets; savoy cabbage; "little cabbages, huge cabbages and some in between"; lettuces; fava beans; multiple varieties of cauliflower; and several other types of produce.
"We are fully reloaded on pork product so we have roast, steak, chops, fresh side, ground pork, spicy sausage, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, hocks, liver, and fat for rendering or adding to your successful game hunt," Davis said.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
Most of the regular vendors are back at the market this week.
Arctic Choice will have a large variety of fresh Alaska fish and shellfish, including coho salmon, fresh halibut, rockfish, cod and black cod in whole fish, fillets, cheeks and stuffed portions. Also available will be oysters in the shell, scallops, razor clam meat, side stripe shrimp, smoked king salmon and ling cod fillets.
Other vendors include: Glacier Valley Farm, VanderWeele Farm, Earthworks Farm, Rempel Family Farm, Stockwell Family Farm, Sweet and Sassy Kettle Corn, Alaska Sprouts, Southfork Jams and Jellies, Joan's Salmon Burgers, Nonessentials and Two Sisters Greenhouse. Music will be provided by Wes Roberts with an open mic available.
Food Bank donations
The Food Bank of Alaska is looking for donations in this harvest season.
Karla Jutzi, director of development and communications, said that September is Hunger Action Month and an excellent opportunity to learn more about hunger issues and help those less fortunate. She said about 36,000 Anchorage residents are hungry, including more than 12,000 children.
"Of the roughly 6 million pounds of food that Food Bank of Alaska distributes annually through our partner agencies, 64 percent is donated from the food industry, farmers, businesses and individuals," Jutzi said. "Every can, every pound of extra garden vegetables makes a difference for someone who doesn't have enough."
Spenard everything cole slaw
Some say coleslaw should be sweet, others say it should be tangy. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your own taste. Create the Alaskan Skipper's Slaw by topping with shilled, fresh Alaska king crab or Prince William Sound spot shrimp.
î´ 1 large head of Alaska green or red cabbage, finely shredded
î´ 3 large carrots, finely shredded
î´ 1 red or white sweet onion, shredded
î´ 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped (use entire onion and stem)
î´ chives, dill, parsley and/or cilantro to taste
î´ 1/4 cup cider vinegar cup
î´ 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
î´ 1/4 cup of sour cream
î´ 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
î´ 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
î´ 2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
î´ 1 teaspoon caraway seeds or celery seeds
î´ Course sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
w Toss all shredded veggies in a large bowl. Place mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir to combine. Let liquid sit for 10 minutes while you sip your favorite beverage.
w Toss all to combine, coating the shredded veggies. Cover and chill 2 hours for best flavor before serving.
Source: Cindy Shake of the Spenard Farmers Market
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at email@example.com.
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; 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.; WILLOW MARKET, MILE 69 PARKS HIGHWAY, 2-7 P.M.
SATURDAY: ANCHORAGE FARMERS MARKET, 9 A.M. TO 2 P.M. AT 15TH AND CORDOVA IN THE CENTRAL LUTHERAN CHURCH PARKING LOT; CENTER MARKET, 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 AVENUELocal farmers markets