As the season winds down, the farmers are still showing up regularly at local markets with some beautiful fall bounty.
"Things are definitely heading toward fall around the farm, with a very colorful assortment of vegetables -- green is no longer the dominant color," says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market.
There are plenty of those colorful options: brussels sprouts; baby and full-sized carrots; magic Myrna, pimpernel, German butterball, yellow Finn, huckleberry and magic Molly purple potatoes; purple top and snow apple turnips; rutabagas; daikon; fennel bulbs; celery; red onions; leeks; dense winter storage cabbage; sweet, summer green cabbage; red cabbage; red, chioggia and golden beets; kohlrabi; and tomatoes. The greens selection is still large and includes arugula, mustard greens, four varieties of kale, baby leaf lettuces and mizuna. There are also plenty of herbs.
Other vendors to look for include: Bushes Bunches, Persistent Farmer, Stockwell Farms, VanderWeele Farms, Seldovitch Farm, LivenGreen, Home Garden, Ba-Lescas Bros., Turkey Red rustic breads and baked goods and Magpie Sue serving breakfasts and lunches prepared with fresh farm produce.
The market will continue through Oct. 12. The Arctic Organics produce stand is open 5-7 p.m. Fridays at the farm, 1305 N. Smith Road in Palmer, through Oct. 11.
Alex Davis from A.D. Farm says a certain regularity is developing in the fields.
"Our varieties will be settling into a consistent pattern over the next couple of weeks," he says. "We are still harvesting potatoes like mad men but we can see the end is near, not for the potatoes but for us scratching through the dirt to get them. This season will go down as the most potatoes I have put in storage ever. Then we will move on to the beets and carrots."
At this week's Wednesday and Saturday markets, Davis says he will have a "full lineup of pork," which includes fresh side, steak, chops, roast, ground pork, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage, hocks, and fat for rendering or making burger or sausage. They will also have fresh eggs at both markets. The veggies to look for -- in addition to all those potatoes -- include Brussels sprouts, cabbage in "baby to huge" sizes, red cabbage, broccoli, icicle carrots, purple carrots, regular carrots and three varieties of beets.
Duane Clark will be sharing Alaska honey, Alaska Sprouts products, grass-fed local beef, local free-range chicken and duck, along with Alaska seafood.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
Lots of the regulars back this week at the Saturday South Anchorage market, which continues for two more weeks. In addition to all the food, Wes Roberts will be hosting a kids' open mic. Youngsters who participate will get a free South Anchorage Farmers Market "Jammed" shirt.
Vendors include the Rempel Family Farm with the usual assortment of fresh veggies, including: broccoli, cauliflower, Romanesco cauliflower, carrots, sugar pumpkins, beets, kales, bok choi, nine varieties of potatoes and seven kinds of winter squash.
Other vendors include: Glacier Valley Farm, VanderWeele Farm, Dart Farm from Manley Hot Springs, Earthworks, Arctic Choice, Juice Jelly and Jam, Stockwell Family Farm, Sweet and Sassy Kettle Corn, Alaska Sprouts, Southfork Jams and Jellies, Joan's Alaska Salmon Burgers, Three Bears Farm, Two Sisters Farm and Maryjane's whole wheat cinnamon rolls.
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
Saturday: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15th and Cordova in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot; 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
Recipe: Pickled red cabbage
What to do with all this colorful Alaska produce? Inspiration was literally handed to me last month when I was served pickled red cabbage as a garnish at the Kincaid Grill. It was fabulous -- and I happened to have a good crop of red cabbage in the garden. This is not the Grill's recipe, but one found at cooks.com. It's as easy and simple as the basic pickle formula can be and the results have pleased everyone whose tasted it. For what it's worth, we didn't wait a week and I doubt any will be left in two months.
1 pound shredded red cabbage
1 tablespoons salt
2-1/2 cups white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon pickling spice
w Peel the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle each layer with salt. Leave for 24 hours. Drain off any liquid and rinse off any surplus salt.
w Put the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices into a pan, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Strain. Pack the cabbage loosely into jars and cover with the spiced vinegar.
w Cover label and store in a cool place. Can begin to eat after 1 week. Will begin to loose its crispness within 2-3 months.
-- Mike Dunham, Daily News reporter
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.