With 20-plus vendors showing up at the Palmer Depot, Anchorage market-goers should consider a road trip to the Valley for the weekly Mat-Su Farm Market.
The market is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays. Look for:
• Bistro Red Beet offers up plenty of tasty treats and look for something truly Alaskan this week: Wild Alaska spruce tip vinaigrette, coconut butter and raw Alaskan honey. Some of the regular items include gluten-free baked goods (breads, cookies, brownies, muffins and more).
• Artist Monica Estill is a new vendor and she will be showcasing her book, "The Bossy Boulder," along with artwork and cards.
• The Alaskan Sourdough Bread Company has a wide variety of sourdough breads, including roasted garlic, cranberry walnut and sun roasted tomato. They also will have some specialty breads (Finnish sweet cardamom pulla, spring stollen, farmhouse hearth loaf and balsamic onion focaccia), along with fudge, caramel corn, cookies, caramel filled pumpkin cookies, baklava and Valentine's Day cookies.
• Alaska Sprouts has sprouts, shoots and hydroponic lettuces.
• Alaska Yard and Goat Company has Alaska goat milk soaps.
• Brooke Family Farm offers quail, chicken and duck eggs. They also will be taking orders for free-range chicken, ducks, geese, turkeys and hogs.
• Bushes Bunches has potatoes, pumpkins, turnips, beets and carrots. New this week is blueberry crumble.
• Choose Food Wisely has fermented probiotic items, including: root beer and creme soda water kefir, black chai kombucha tea, blue/cranberry fermented winter kraut.
• Coba's Plant Care offers fresh microgreens, including basic or spicy salad mix, broccoli, radish and cabbage microgreens.
• Country Health Foods has vegetable, local beef, pork, chicken, Alaskan seafood, whole grain barley, barley flour, honey, baked goods, Alaska sea salt and salsa.
• Jonesers offers teas, rubs and handmade nectars. On Monday, they are featuring their dingleberry nectar, which is a blueberry, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry and strawberry.
• Loco Mamas has fresh beef, pork and chicken tamales, along with chili, nachos, salads, chicken vegetable soup made with local veggies and veggie pasta salad.
• Monica's Confection Connection has pecan, jalapeno, peanut and cashew brittles.
• Moonlit Lake Garden has local, organic fermented and cultured veggies and will feature a cultured honey dijon mustard and fermented ginger relish.
• Three Branches has handmade wild harvest salves, balms and lotions that are all chemical-free and made with locally harvested and sourced ingredients.
• Tilgner's Smoked Salmon offers cold smoked Scottish style wild Alaskan salmon in 4- and 8-ounce packages, along with whole filets.
• Voodoo Chocolates has plenty of sweet things available ahead of Valentine's Day.
At the Center Market
For those staying a little closer to Anchorage, the Center Market is open Wednesday and Saturday with several options. The market is in The Mall at Sears.
Alex Davis is keeping busy with "spring" at the farm, but he'll also be at the market with several items.
"Feels like spring is here; at least that is what the pigs think," Davis says. "It warms up and they want to roam, and there is no keeping electric fences running properly when the line is in the ice. Chasing pigs and mending fences is one way to get your exercise.
"Hauling buckets of root crops to wash twice a week is another way."
Those root crops include purple carrots, orange carrots, peanut potatoes, German butterball potatoes, French fingerling potatoes, all-blue potatoes and three varieties of beets, all available at the market this week. He will also have fresh eggs, barley flour, barley cereal, whole barley and a lineup of pork products that includes chops, steak, fresh side, Italian sausage, spicy sausage, breakfast sausage patties, hocks, liver and fat for rendering.
The Rempel Family Farm will have 10 kinds of potatoes, three varieties of beets, sugar pumpkins, acorn squash, stripetti squash, green cabbage, parsnips, rutabagas, carrots and daikon radish.
Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free will be offering cupcakes, spaghetti sauce, split pea soup, carrot ginger soup, roasted beets and sweet potato soup, red beans and brown rice with pico de gallo, fresh pico de gallo, corn chips, fresh salad with hemp seed dressing, stone baked breads and petite baguettes.
Drool Central will be at the market Wednesday and Saturday with freshly baked items including pumpkin-chicken treats and items made of salmon, spinach, parsley and organic brown rice.
Duane Clark will have local grass-fed beef, local free-range chicken, seafood, honey and items from Alaska Sprouts.
The market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
From the sea
John Jackson of New Sagaya Markets admits things are "pretty quiet all around the state."
There is "quite a bit of rockfish coming in as of late. Fillets are looking really pretty, and right around now anything fresh and from Alaska is a real treat, especially when it is a value in pricing at $9.95 per pound," he says.
The stores also have fresh cod fillets, fresh poki, marlin and tuna.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.