Market Fresh: You can tell a farmer by interest in storage crops

Steve Edwards

Valley farmer Alex Davis isn't a big football fan. But something caught his eye during the big game Sunday.

"I'm not a fan of the Super Bowl, but I sure did like the Ram commercial 'God made a farmer,' " Davis said.

Then he added: "I'm about to head out to start washing veggies for this week's market. We've started to order our seeds in anticipation of our first sets of starts beginning in April."

Yep, that's a farmer. He's more interested in his storage carrots and next year's crops than in some overly hyped game.

Davis will bring carrots in three colors to the Center Market this week, along with golden beets, cabbage, parsnips and three varieties of potatoes. He will also have about 70 dozen fresh chicken and duck eggs and a large lineup of pork products -- chops, roast, loin roast, steak, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage and ground pork. He will also bring barley flour and barley cereal from Alaska growers in Delta.

Duane Clark of Country Health Foods will have several items available including grass-fed beef, locally raised chicken and duck, local pure raw honey and products by Alaska Sprouts, which generally include tofu, basil plants and large selection of sprouts, shoots and micro-greens.

Northern Lights Mushrooms also plans to be at the market with locally grown mushrooms.

The Center Market at The Mall at Sears is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.


Time for flowers

It's still early but Rob Wells is excited about his 2013 dahlia crop.

"I woke up the dahlia tubers this past weekend from their nap by taking them out of cold storage," said Wells, The Persistent Farmer. "Fifty-degree temps will get them growing sprouts from the viable eyes on their necks. Deliveries will begin in four weeks at the Sears Mall."

He plans to have catalogs available at the Center Market this week. More information is available at or call Wells at 907-745-2789 for more information.



Whether we're shopping for ourselves or for friends and family, Copper River Seafoods has plenty of options for Alaskans.

On sale at are king crab legs and claws -- 10 pounds of red king crab for $269, 5 pounds of reds for $169 and 5 pounds of golden king crab for $129. Also available are sockeye salmon (10 pounds for $99) and halibut (10 pounds for $149.50). Prices include overnight shipping. Alaskans can get 10 percent off their order by using promo code "907."

Robin Richardson of Copper River Seafoods said winter fishing has been a bit spotty.

"Mother nature has been treating the fishing fleet rather poorly with high winds and freezing spray," Richardson said. "However, our Southcentral Pacific cod fleet boats have fought through it to make sure we have daily deliveries of fresh Alaska cod and small amounts of Alaska rockfish. Check out the Bear Tooth restaurant menu to partake!"

Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods said "next week is going to be a rough week for our hard-shelled homies in the crustacean world. We are taking pre-orders for live or boiled crawfish for Mardi Gras and live lobsters for Valentine's Day."

Alaska seafood doesn't take a backseat to the imported stuff.

Southall said "we are still seeing the wonderful winter kings from Southeast Alaska. These winter beauties have been picking up in numbers and will be available all week to enjoy."

Also available are fresh side-stripe shrimp, fresh cod fillets ($5.50 per pound), live oysters ($12.95 per dozen) and live clams for $6.05 per pound.


Parsnip cakes

 11/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

 ¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves

 4 tablespoons butter divided

 ½ teaspoon salt

 Freshly ground black pepper

 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

 1 egg, beaten

 1 cup dry bread crumbs, such as panko

 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

w In a pot of salted water, cook parsnips until tender, about 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces. Drain. Transfer to a food processor work bowl fitted with a metal blade. Add parsley, 3 tablespoons of the butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Process until smoothly blended, about 15 seconds.

w With wet hands, shape parsnip mixture into 16 patties. Spread flour on a plate, egg in shallow bowl and bread crumbs on another plate. Dip each cake into flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.

w In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add cakes, in batches, and cook, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes per side, adding more butter and oil as necessary. Serve immediately.

Source: "650 Best Food Processor Recipes" by George Geary and Judith Finlayson (Robert Rose, $24.95)


Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at



Daily News correspondent