Market Fresh: Don't give up on Anchorage farmers markets

Steve Edwards

Anchorage's busy summer farmers' market scene has quieted down to a pair of markets: the Center Market at The Mall at Sears and the South Anchorage Winter Market, which is set up in the Dimond Center.

Last week was the first indoor market for the South Anchorage vendors.

"It was a good day," says Arthur Keyes of Glacier Valley Farm and market organizer. "We saw a lot of our regular customers and quite a few new ones. Due to this mild fall weather, the vegetable selection at the market is much more abundant than normal for this time of year.

"There will be fresh lettuce, tomatoes and broccoli as well as the typical storage crops this coming weekend."

Vendors scheduled for the South Market this week include:

• Arctic Choice Seafoods: Fresh troll-caught king salmon, halibut, rockfish, cod and sablefish in different forms such as whole, fillet, cheeks and stuffed portions. They also will have oysters in the shell, scallops, razor clam meats, Ikura (caviar), shrimp and a variety of other seafood options.

• Mat Valley Meats: A full selection of Alaskan meats.

• Honey Bucket Ranch: Honey and honeycomb.

• Alaska Sprouts: Locally grown sprouts, tofu and lettuce. Says owner S.J. Klein: "Alaska Sprouts will have sprouts, micro greens and fresh tofu at the Wednesday market at Sears Mall and Saturdays at the Sears Mall and Dimond Center. Wednesday we will have our first romaine and butter lettuce of the winter available. Saturday at Dimond Center we will have free samples." Among the available items are: bean, clover and onion sprouts; a three-bean mix; arugula, mustard, bulls blood, broccoli and red radish microgreens; and tofu.

• Glacier Valley Farm: Carrots, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, broccoli, turnips, kohlrabi and other vegetables.

• Stockwell Family Farm: Carrots, potatoes, winter squash, rutabagas, turnips and pork.

• Maryjane's Breads: Fresh breads, macaroons, whole wheat cinnamon rolls and eggs.

• Earthworks farm: Beeswax-based cosmetics.

The market is located upstairs in the Dimond Center above the Old Navy store. The market is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Center Market

While the South Anchorage folks are new to the indoor market game, the farmers and vendors at the Center Market are experts. Alex Davis and Duane Clark have been going year-round at The Mall at Sears for months.

The market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays.

"Things have gone from crazy intense to almost sane around here," Davis says. "All that is left in the field is Brussels sprouts and cabbage, which we will continue to pick for our market and for storage to be sold later. We are soon to be topped off on pork cuts and we will start having goat for sale in November."

This week look for the following at the market: carrots (sunshine, orange, purple and icicle), a wide variety of potatoes (French fingerling, German butterball, peanut and blue), three varieties of beets, red and green cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. A.D. Farm will also have duck and chicken eggs, along with a full line of pork products--chops, steak, roast, side, breakfast sausage patties, Italian sausage, spicy sausage, and ground pork.

Joining the Wednesday market is the Rempel Family Farm, which will have 10 kinds of potatoes, sugar pumpkins, jumbo pink banana squash, acorn squash, red kuri squash, stripetti and spaghetti squash, beets, green cabbage, parsnips, collards, daikon radish, collards and kales.

"The weather has been wonderful for growing, so we still have some unexpected fresh greens like broccoli and kales, and who knows what else we will find to surprise us for Wednesday's market?" Mark Rempel says.

Recipe: Turnip fries

 2 medium turnips, cut into equal sized sticks

 3 tablespoons olive oil

 1 tablespoons creole seasoning

 kosher salt

 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

w Preheat the oven to 400. Toss the turnip sticks in with the oil and seasonings. Lay the turnip sticks evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 15 minutes.

Source: South Anchorage Farmers Market 

Daily News correspondent