A quick visit to the South Anchorage Farmers Market last weekend provided proof it was a great summer for growing – even those tricky tomatoes.
Multiple vendors had loads of gorgeous tomatoes stacked in colorful piles.
Carmen Moldovan of Northern Flowers says it was a bountiful year.
"So far, the plants have produced over 4,000 pounds," she says of the five varieties of heirloom tomatoes she's growing. "This was a very good year for the tomatoes. I have 600 plants. They started producing around the end of July. I tried five varieties, a good balance for customers who want choices but not so many it is overwhelming."
Northern Flowers will be back at the market this weekend with chocolate stripes, pineapple, mortgage lifter, green zebra and black krim, which Modovan says is the most popular tomato she sells.
While the tomatoes are looking good, there are plenty of other produce and other goodies at the South Anchorage market. Grab some onions, zucchini, macarons, pasta, sprouts, dog treats, kettle corn or other items on Saturday.
Other vendor highlights include Wild Scoops with several ice cream flavors. They will have cardamom with zucchini cake and birch swirl, featuring Glacier Valley Farm zucchini and birch syrup from Bridge Creek Birch; and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, a chocolate ice cream with peanut butter sandwich cookies from Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop.
Arctic Choice will have fresh cod fillets from Frederick Sound, halibut fillets from Nuka Bay and fresh Simpson Bay oysters. Frozen seafood includes salmon, red king crab, scallops and ikura.
Rempel Family Farm will have a huge selection of produce, including tomatoes, carrots in three colors, lettuces, green onions, beets and beet greens, cauliflower, 12 varieties of potatoes, daikon, parsnips, radishes and turnips.
La Grassa will have a new pasta, Alaskan potato and caramelized onion vegan ravioli, along with several of its other favorites, including hand-cut noodles in original, organic spinach and garlic and herb flavors.
Muldoon Farmers Market
It's the final Muldoon market of the year. "By the light of the harvest moon, all kinds of root vegetables came out of the ground this week," Jerrianne Lowther says. "Squash, pumpkins, cabbage, kohlrabi and all other fall vegetables are in plentiful supply."
She says there are loads of bulk potatoes or Brussels sprouts too. Other highlights include a large selection of jams from Alley Berry Jelly, including red currant, crab apple and rose hip, and some sweet treats from Catherine's Cupcakes.
Alex Davis says he has a "truckload of cabbage" coming in from the field and he will have them at both Wednesday and Saturday markets this week. "Despite the moose eating lots, we are almost buried in cabbage," he says. The cabbages are 5-15 pounds each and $5 per head.
Other items at the A.D. Farm booth include six varieties of homemade jam, pork cuts, Alaska Sprouts items, eggs, barley products and plenty of produce, including beets, carrots, cauliflower, salad mix, kale, potatoes and zucchini.
Farm 779 will be at the Center Market on Wednesday with coconut kefir, fermented veggies and krauts, kvass, ginger kombucha and coconut bee-based body products. Farm 779 also will be at Saturday's South Anchorage market.
Duane Clark will be at the Wednesday market with tomatoes, rutabaga, kohlrabi, jams, salsa, honey and grass-fed beef and yak. Clark also is at the Muldoon Farmers Market and will have a final Tuesday market on the Rooftop in downtown Anchorage.
Spenard Farmers Market
It's the second-to-last Spenard market of the year and market manager Andrea Trent says it's a great time to visit the vendors. "With only two markets left in the season, it's time to come out and support our local farmers before they hibernate for winter," she says. "Our market will feature gorgeous selections of freshly picked vegetables from Black Bear Farm, Brown Dog Farm, the Ba-lescas Brothers, Chugach Farm, Dinkel's Veggies and Simple Living Farm." Other highlights include Alaska seafood, pickled vegetables, honey and baked goods.
Anchorage Farmers Market
Sarah Bean says "this fall is being particularly good to us. We did get a little frost nip this morning, but it looks like we have the rest of the week to finish the root and cabbage harvests."
Look for more potatoes and carrots on Saturday at the market, loose and in 5-pound bags. Other root vegetables include rutabagas, leeks, red, beets, turnips and daikon radishes. They'll be joined by Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, green and red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, red bell peppers, kohlrabi, kale, greens mix, baby lettuce mix, mache, spinach and a variety of other items.
Other vendors include Brown Dog Farm, Mom's Garden, Persistent Farmer, Seldovitch Farm, Stockwell Farm, VanderWeele Farm, Vang Family Farm, Alaska Sea-Ag fertilizers and Turkey Red baked goods.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local farmers markets
Monday in the Valley: Colony Farmers Market, noon-7 p.m., Palmer Depot
Tuesday outside of Anchorage: Eagle River Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., VFW Post parking lot; Farmers Fresh Market, 3-6 p.m., 33955 Community College Drive, Soldotna; Southside Community Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m., Intercultural Assembly of God, Fairbanks
Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Northway Mall Wednesday Market, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Northway Mall; South Anchorage Wednesday Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Dimond Center
Wednesday outside of Anchorage: Homer Farmers Market, 2-6 p.m., Ocean Drive near the Washboard
Thursday in Anchorage: APU Farmers Market, noon-6 p.m., 4101 University Drive
Thursday in Peters Creek: Peters Creek Farmers Market, 3-8 p.m., American Legion Post 33, 21643 Old Glenn Highway
Saturday in Anchorage: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 15th Avenue and Cordova Street; Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Muldoon Farmers Market, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Begich Middle School; South Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., O'Malley Sports Center; Spenard Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 2555 Spenard Road
Saturday outside of Anchorage: Homer Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ocean Drive near the Washboard; Nenana Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Civic Center on Main Street