Two more popular farmers markets join the Southcentral lineup this week. The APU Farmers Market opens on Wednesday, while the Mountain View Farmers Market returns on Thursday.
"We have fresh produce, food trucks, craft vendors, live music and so much more," says Mahdi Akal, Mountain View Farmers Market manager. The market is open 3 to 7 p.m. at 3543 Mountain View Drive.
Vendors for the first Mountain View market of the year include Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, Cali's Smokey BBQ & Soulfood, Eva's Cupcakery, Jennifer's Tamales, Fresh International Gardens, Black Bear Farms, Ba-Lescas Brothers, Edible Alaska and the Food Bank of Alaska.
APU's market manager Megan Talley says there will be several special events and guests at Wednesday's first APU Farmers Market of the season. They include:
Edible Alaska: "Meet Mary Smith, editor of the much-loved publication that features highlights from the local food scene all around Alaska," Talley says.
ANTHC Health Promotions: "Join Marcia Anderson and Karolyn Ceron from Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for a plant walk around the APU campus. Meet at the market at 11 a.m., the walk will run until about 12:30 p.m."
APU Dining Services: Talley says APU's Director of Sustainability Chris Pavadore will be on hand to provide cooking demos using produce from vendors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free Yoga: Yoga on the lawn will be at noon and 3 p.m., Talley says.
Vendors include Ba-Lescas Brothers, Spring Creek Farm, Far North Fungi, APU Dining Services, Alaskan Stone Arts, Andrea DeCosta Massage Therapy and Drool Central.
The APU market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays at 4225 University Drive.
Anchorage Farmers Market
Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics says the cool weather hasn't slowed everything growing on the farm.
"We are so glad to have cold frames to help get early produce to market this year," Bean says. "Without the cold frames, we would be waiting another week or two for the crops we've planted unprotected in the field to mature. We're happy to be able to offer a good selection of long-awaited salad ingredients."
Produce includes heads of butter, red oakleaf and leaf lettuces baby arugula; greens mix; basil, scallions, chives and possibly pac choi. Arctic Organics also has vegetable seedlings, fertilizer blends and some hanging baskets.
Rob Wells, the Persistent Farmer, agrees that the start to the growing season has been cool, but he says "remember the first day of summer is a week away." He has seedlings and tomato hanging baskets.
Other vendors include Brown Dog Farm, Ed & Tina's Krauts & Pickles, Fee's Seafood, Happy Valley Chickens' eggs, Mom's Garden, Seldovitsch Farm, Sun Fire Ridge, Turkey Red Café breads and treats and VanderWeele Farm.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
As is the theme with most growers, Arthur Keyes says the cool weather is slowing things a bit.
"The veggies may be a week or so behind schedule but have no fear they are still growing and the wait will be worth it," he says. "For the next two weeks, there will be a solstice celebration carnival at the Subway Sports Centre. There will be additional parking on the sides of the sports arena as well as behind the Alaska Club reserved for market customers. Regular customers need to be aware the layout of the market will be different these next two weekends."
The market will include plenty of vendors with plants, fresh greens, breads and baked goods, meats and seafood. Some of the market lineup includes: Rempel Family Farm, Pam's Veggies, Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, Flat Top Farm, Joan's Jams and Jellies, Drool Central, Rise & Shine Bakery, Pies the Limit, Wild Child Salsa, Non Essentials, Alaska Pasta, Farm 779, Zoi Food 4 Life, Wild Scoops, Sweet and Sassy Kettle Corn, Blue Poppy, Glacier Valley Farm, Butcher Block No. 9, Earthworks Farm and Arctic Choice, among others.
Spenard Farmers Market
About 35 vendors are scheduled for Saturday's market in Spenard.
"Due to the warming temperatures in the Mat-Su, our farmers will have freshly harvested salad greens and we're beginning to see an emergence of root vegetables such as turnips, radishes and scallions," Market Manager Andrea Trent says. "We'll have tons of field greens such as arugula, beet tops, bok choi, chard, kale, spinach, sorrel and tatsoi to name a few."
Vendor highlights include Brown Dog Farm, Ba-Lescas Brothers, Midnight Sun Farm, Chugach Farm, Four Tern Farm, Alaska Seeds of Change, Simple Living Farm, Glacier City Gardener, Frank Wendling, Than Dickey and Crow Creek Coolture.
For Alex Davis, heading toward Summer Solstice means "grill season is fully upon us. With that, comes the return of the thick pork chop and the return of the ham steak."
Davis will have those and loads of other pork cuts at the thrice-weekly Center Market. Davis also has chicken and duck eggs, raspberry jam, grass-fed beef, honey, locally grown lettuce and items from Tonia's Biscotti, Evie's Brinery, Alaska Flour Co., Mosquito Mama and Alaska Sprouts.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.
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., Eagle River VFW Post; Farmers Fresh Market, 3-6 p.m., 33955 Community College Drive, Soldotna
Wednesday in Anchorage: APU Farmers Market, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 4225 University Drive; Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Farmers Market at Airport Heights, 3-7 p.m., 2530 E. 16th Ave.
Wednesday outside of Anchorage: Highway's End Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Delta Junction; Homer Farmers Market, 2-6 p.m., Ocean Drive; Soldotna Wednesday Market, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Soldotna Creek Park; Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks
Thursday in Anchorage: Mountain View Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., 3543 Mountain View Drive; Thankful Thursdays market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Thursday outside of Anchorage: Peters Creek Farmers Market, 3-8 p.m., American Legion Post 33
Friday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 33 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 200
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 between C and E streets; Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 33 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 200; 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: Highway's End Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Delta Junction; Homer Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ocean Drive; Kenai's Saturday Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Kenai Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center; Soldotna Saturday Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., East Corral Avenue and Kenai Spur Highway; 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., 3rd Avenue between C and E streets; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 33 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 200
Sunday outside of Anchorage: Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road