Don't let the rain dampen your spirits. There is still plenty to get excited about at our local farmers markets.
"This is the transition time of year at the market with vendor tables are piled high with multicolored vegetables, the temperatures starting to cool and market customers rush in and rush out with their purchases," says Cindy Shake, the Spenard Farmers Market's community and media relations volunteer.
"When locavores say they are getting bored by salads and the steamer, I say look to roasting as a way of preparing these abundant and fabulous root veggies! You will discover new flavors and textures of your veggies by preparing them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper, olive oil drizzled on top and popping in the oven and roasting till tender!"
For Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market there is good news and bad news in the fields.
"We are excited to have begun our new potato harvest, because they are so delicious," she says. "Unfortunately, we are finding that the outlook is not terribly good for many of our potato varieties. The drought during that wonderful heat wave earlier this summer has definitely reduced the yields in the potato field. We'll put off harvesting them as long as we can so they can size up. Many crops, like carrots and beets, have thrived, however, thanks to irrigation and the warm weather."
Get to a market and stock up on root vegetables like carrots, beets and rutabagas. And don't fret, there are potatoes out there too!
Anchorage Farmers Market
While the potato yield isn't up to speed just yet, Arctic Organics will have magic Molly purple and Desiree pink new potatoes, purple top turnips, rutabagas and mache are all new items this week at the market. They will also have fennel bulbs, celery, red onions, tomatoes, red cabbage, pac choi, carrots, beets, a variety of cabbage, snow apple turnips, zucchini, broccoli, kohlrabi, a huge selection of greens (rainbow chard, beet greens, collards, spinach, baby spinach, greens mix, kales, arugula, mustard greens, turnip greens, watercress, leaf lettuces and other items), along with herbs and fresh cut flowers.
The Anchorage Farmers Market accepts Quest cards, along with WIC and Senior Farmers Market Program coupons! Other vendors scheduled this week include: Bushes Bunches, Persistent Farmer, Stockwell Farms, VanderWeele Farms, Seldovitch Farm, LivenGreen, Home Garden, Ba-Lescas Brothers, Turkey Red rustic breads and baked goods, ACAT compost tea and Magpie Sue.
Spenard Farmers Market
This week, it's Fresh 49 Day featuring Alaska chef Rob Kinneen. Kinneen has been chef at several local restaurants and started Fresh49.com to showcase Alaska's foods and bring an awareness about the state's food supply.
On Saturday, Kinneen will be filming webisodes on how to source local foods and the benefits of the SNAP program at the Spenard Farmers Market.
Vendor highlights include: Midnight Sun Farm with a large basket of fresh eating apples and pie apples, carrots, beets, honey, snow peas and sugar snap peas; Fresh International Gardens with potatoes, salad mix, cabbage, red Russian kale, Siberian kale and garlic kale; Chugach Farm will have leeks, celery, cauliflower, parsley, herb salt, blueberry basil vinegar, kombucha, pestos and all-purpose salve; Black Bear Farms is harvesting more giant zucchini; Glacier Valley Farm will have sweet beets, sweet salad onion and carrots; and Spring Creek Farm will have celery, carrots, broccoli, kale and basil.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
After a week off, Rise & Shine Bakery will be back with five loaf offerings at the market. Among the breads are: Alaskan potato sourdough bread that made with baked potatoes grown in Palmer; spent grain sourdough loaves, speckled with malted barley groats that were used to flavor Midnight Sun Brewery's beer; the 100 whole wheat toasted seed sourdough that is packed with sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds; the kalamata olive sourdough that is loaded with salty olives; and the sweet fruited almond sourdough hearth loaf that is filled with dried apricots, cranberries and golden raisins, along with toasted almonds.
This week Rempel Family Farm will have certified organic bags of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Romanesco cauliflower, beets, zucchini, arugula, green onions, chard, tatsoi, green mustard, red, romaine and butter lettuce, salad mix, spinach, radishes, cress, kales, cabbages and a large selection of new potatoes. (The Rempels are also at Wednesday's Northway Mall Farmers Market.)
Other vendors lined up for Saturday at the market include: Glacier Valley Farm, VanderWeele Farm, Earthworks Farm, Arctic Choice Seafood, Three Bears Farm, Honey Bucket Ranch, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Stockwell Family Farm, Alaska Sprouts and Mat-Valley Meats, among others.
RECIPE: Spenard rhubarb clafoutis
A traditional dessert that hails from the south of France via Spenard with Alaskan inspiration.
î€´ 12 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
î€´ 2 tablespoons buttter
î€´ 2 tablespoons brown sugar
î€´ 1/2 cup all-purpose Flour
î€´ 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
î€´ 2 eggs
î€´ 2 tablespoons brown sugar
î€´ 3/4 cup milk
î€´ 1 tablespoon melted butter
w Heat oven to 425 F. Mix the batter ingredients together, set aside.
w Over medium heat in a non-aluminum pan, melt butter and brown sugar. Add rhubarb, cook one minute, achieving a glaze.
w Top the pan with the batter, put into the oven. Cook 10 to 12 minutes.
w Top off with crema
Spruce tip crema
î€´ 1/2 cup water
î€´ 1/4 cup sugar
î€´ 1/4 cup spruce tips, chopped
w Boil water and sugar to dissolve. Add spruce tips, take off heat to cool.
w In a separate bowl whip cream to soft peaks, fold in syrup.
Source: Chef Rob Kinneen
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; SOUTH ANCHORAGE FARMERS MARKET, DIMOND CENTER, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M.; 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, 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; SPENARD FARMERS MARKET, 9 A.M. TO 2 P.M., SPENARD ROAD AND 26TH AVENUELocal farmers markets
By STEVE EDWARDS
Daily News correspondent