It's a holiday weekend, and that means grills all around Alaska will be covered with tasty treats on the Fourth (and probably the fifth and sixth too).
A good place to start is with fresh Alaska seafood. There is plenty of it!
"What an amazing week for fresh fish this week," says Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods. "Prince William Sound is producing a plethora of fresh Alaskan seafood to enjoy. Fresh sockeye salmon are coming in daily.
"Also coming from the pristine waters of Prince William Sound are the fresh shrimp; we will have both sidestripes and spots available."
Southall says 10th & M will have fresh sockeye salmon fillets for $9.95 per pound or $6.50/pound for headed and gutted.
The Gulf of Alaska is producing plenty of halibut and cod, while troll-caught king salmon are coming from Southeast. "These lovely salmon are averaging 14 pounds per head-off fish and are available as headed and cleaned or fillets," he says.
All the local markets have some tasty treats to add to the summer barbecue.
Arctic Choice Seafoods will be at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturday with a huge selection of Alaska seafood. The Center Market, open Wednesday and Saturday, has grass-fed Alaska beef from Country Health Foods and a wide variety of pork options for the grill from A.D. Farm.
Following are some of the market highlights.
Anchorage Farmers Market
"It's greens season, and each week another one joins the harvest list," says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the market organizer. "The lettuces are the big attraction this week in the field. Some combination of the right amount of sun, rain, day length and clouds has made for spectacular color and tenderness in the first lettuces coming in from our field. The reds are particularly arresting in the red butterhead, red romaine and lollo rossa lettuces."
Bean says there are plenty of other options from the fields including Toscano kale, red Russian kale, snow apple turnips, spinach, Chinese cabbage, tat soi, radishes, pak choi, mizuna, arugula, baby kale, greens mix, basil, nasturtium blossoms and scallions.
Other vendors scheduled for Saturday include: Stockwell Farm, VanderWeele Farms, Northern Flowers, Vang Family Home Garden, The Magpie and Turkey Red.
In addition to his pork choices, Alex Davis will have salad mix, spinach, rhubarb, beets, potatoes and a variety of barley products, including cereal, flour and pancake mix.
Country Health Foods will have honey, jams, salsa and Alaska Sprouts products, plus beef.
Choose Food Wisely will be at the Wednesday market with a special organic quinoa cacao cookie, along with their Ayurvedic spiced seasonal krauts.
"We want everyone to love them in abundance like we do, so we're doubling the size but not the price," says Julie Meer. "Gratitude for the abundance of the season is the reason."
Meer says they will also have their no-dairy coconut kefirs, bacon-flavored raw coconut, black chai kombucha and other products.
On Wednesday, also look for some tasty items from Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free, along with dog treats and meals from Drool Central, which will also be at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturday.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
Look for a full lineup of vendors at the market on Saturday including Country Garden Farm, Mat Valley Meats, VanderWeele Farm, Three Bears Jams and Jellies, Joan's Salmon Burgers, Northern Lights Mushrooms, Stockwell Family Farm, Non-Essentials, Maryjane's Cinnamon Rolls and others.
Earthworks Farm will have mini lettuce, Napa cabbage, radishes, turnips, Asian greens, honey and sampler size jars of handmade Abeille Alaska beeswax and honey skin and body care products. The Abeille Alaska products will also be featured at the Anchorage Museum during its Art Mart Wednesday to Friday. Dee Barker will have a visual presentation about beekeeping and making cosmetics.
Glacier Valley Farm will have zucchini, turnips, cucumbers and potatoes.
New this week from the Rempel Family Farm will be red beets, dill and Napa cabbage. The Rempels will have a variety of other fresh items including cilantro, mint, arugula, bok choi, rhubarb, kale, salad mix and turnips.
Northway Mall Farmers Market
Dinkel's Veggies will be one of the vendors at Wednesday's market.
"This week our new addition is green beans," says Lesley Dinkel. "They are first of the season, so super tender and yummilicious!"
They will also have lettuce, zucchini and strawberries. Look for the Dinkels at the Wasilla Wednesday market, the Spenard Farmers Market and the Saturday Anchorage Market and Festival.
From the sea
Shrimp Guys Seafoods, the Soldotna business that sets up at various locations around Southcentral, will have a variety of items this week. They will be in Seward on Wednesday and Homer on Thursday.
Look for Kodiak scallops, sidestripe shrimp, king crab, razor clams and cold-smoked salmon.
LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS
Monday: Mat-Su Farm Market, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Palmer Depot
Wednesday: APU Farmers Market, 1:30-6:30 p.m., 4101 University Drive; Center Market, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mall at Sears; Northway Mall Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Northway Mall; Wasilla Farmers Market, near Wasilla Wonderland Park, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday: Peters Creek American Legion Post 33 Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., 21643 Old Glenn Highway
Saturday: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15th and Cordova in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot; Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets; Center Market, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; 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 Avenue
Sunday: Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets
By STEVE EDWARDS
Daily News correspondent