Food and Drink

Farmers market finds new venue -- on a rooftop park in downtown Anchorage

Earlier this summer, The Rooftop opened as a unique downtown park – atop the Fifth Avenue Parking Garage at 245 W. Fifth Ave.

On Tuesday, a farmers market joins the fun.

Duane Clark will open Duane's Top Shelf Artisan Market from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Rooftop. Other activities at the park include a half-court basketball court, table tennis, a concrete chessboard, seating and some trees to provide a little greenery atop the garage.

Andrew Halcro, executive director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, says the farmers market is the perfect addition to the park.

"The farmers market is something we've been pining for," Halcro says. "It's great for employees that work downtown Monday to Friday. Tuesday afternoon, they can grab lunch and come to The Rooftop and visit the weekday market.

"The market really adds value to the space. It adds value to downtown. What's better than working downtown, but still having the ability to access Alaska produce? It really is the perfect fit."

[Read more: Downtown Anchorage's newest park is on top of a parking garage]

Clark expects to have a wide variety of produce at the market this week, including snow apple turnips, rutabaga, English cucumbers, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. He also has grass-fed Alaska beef and yak meat, along with locally produced honey, zucchini relish and salsa. He expects to have additional vendors at the initial market on Tuesday.

Help support Alaska farmland

It's time to "Eat, Drink, Love" at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturday.

The fundraiser for Alaska Farmland Trust includes food created by chef Clayton Jones and a variety of spirits from the Anchorage Distillery.

"Not only will this event showcase Alaska's finest in food and beverage, it gives SAFM shoppers the chance to be part of something bigger," says Amy Pettit, executive director of Alaska Farmland Trust. "Alaska Farmland Trust is the only statewide nonprofit working to permanently protect valuable farmlands and soils from development. There are limited acres capable of producing the Alaska Grown foods we love to enjoy; by participating in the Eat-Drink-LOVE event, Anchorage residents are investing in our food future."

While the market is always free to visit, entrance to the tasting booth is $25, with valid ID required for alcohol consumption.

At the markets

Muldoon Farmers Market: Jerrianne Lowther says "good things come in small jars" at the Muldoon Farmers Market on Saturday. "Alley Berry brings intensely flavorful raspberry jams and jellies with no seeds and The Shrimp Guy brings jars of smoked salmon — along with Kodiak scallops, Alaska shrimp, salmon and halibut," Lowther says. This week, look for O'Brady's Dawg Hut to include halibut sandwiches and halibut with fries to their hamburger, hot dog and sausage menu.

Mountain View Farmers Market: Alley Berry will be at Mountain View Farmers Market on Thursday and market manager Caitlin Taylor says the jams will pair perfectly with Fire Island Bakery's challah knots and scones.

Taylor says the Ba-Lescas Brothers are selling crisp apples picked from an orchard in Muldoon, while the Vang Family Farm will have squash blossoms and the Seldovitch Family Farm will have parsnips and cheddar cauliflower. The Yun Family sells live chickens and "they'll let you hold and feed them too, if you ask," Taylor says.

Spenard Farmers Market: Northern Flowers is joining the market this week with their "gorgeous heirloom tomatoes," market manager Andrea Trent says. "We're also excited to showcase Laurel Epp's Marimba Ensemble this Saturday. It's free and open to the public, and definitely a show not to miss!"

Northway Mall Wednesday Market: The rain has been great for some plants and not so great for others, says Leslie Dinkel. "We are seeing the pickling cucumber plants come to an end," she says. "The moisture has been hard on them. People who have been holding out to make pickles had better come early to markets and get some this week."

Dinkels Veggies will have carrots, tomatoes, European cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, green and yellow zucchini, strawberries, leaf lettuce, green beans, Yukon gold and red potatoes, cauliflower and sweet onions. They also will be at a pair of Wasilla markets on Wednesday and three Saturday markets, including the Downtown Market and Festival.

Center Market: It's definitely the height of carrot season, according to Alex Davis. "I am now pulling four types of carrots," he says. Other produce includes salad mix, peas, cauliflower, zucchini, radishes, kohlrabi, five varieties of lettuce and chard. Davis also will have Alaska Sprouts items, barley products, eggs and a huge selection of pork cuts.

Farm 779 will be at Wednesday's market with a variety of ferments.

South Anchorage Farmers Market: Farm 779 has a new carrot ginger ferment this week, which Julie Meer describes as a "a sweet carrot ferment with a big ginger snap zing." Other items in the booth will include kimchi, krauts, kvass, beets and three coconut kefir options.

Arctic Choice has a wide selection of fresh Alaska seafood, including silver salmon, rockfish, halibut and oysters from Simpson Bay.

Drool Central will be back at the market with a large selection of Alaska-made dog treats. Daisy Nicolas also plans a pop-up shop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at New Sagaya Midtown Market.

Anchorage Farmers Market: Arctic Organics, Brown Dog Farm, Mom's Garden, Seldovitch Farm, Stockwell Farm, Vander Weele Farm, Vang Family Farm, Alaska Sea-Ag fertilizers and Turkey Red baked goods are scheduled vendors this week. Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics says new this week are four varieties of apples, new potatoes, a new crop of cauliflower, celery, red cabbage, mache and Brussels sprouts tops.

Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at

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 Farmer's 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; Soldotna Wednesday Market, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Soldotna Creek Park; Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks; Wasilla Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Iditapark, Wasilla

Thursday in Anchorage: APU Farmers Market, noon-6 p.m., 4101 University Drive; Mountain View Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., 3543 Mountain View Drive
Thursday in Peters Creek: Peters Creek Farmers Market, 3-8 p.m., American Legion Post 33, 21643 Old Glenn Highway

Friday outside of Anchorage: Friday Fling, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., across from the Visitor's Center; Willow Farmers Market, 2-7 p.m., Mile 69 Parks Highway

Saturday in Anchorage: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 15th Avenue and Cordova Street; Anchorage Market & Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Third Avenue and E 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; Kenai's Saturday Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 11471 Kenai Spur Highway; Nenana Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Civic Center on Main Street; Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks

Sunday in Anchorage: Anchorage Market & Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Third Avenue and E Street

Sunday in Fairbanks: Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road

Steve Edwards

Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. He writes the Market Fresh column weekly and can be reached