The Alaska State Fair is going strong. That's a clear signal that the growing season is coming to a close. And it also means the farmers markets — and the farmers themselves — are busier than ever.
"September is just around the corner, marking a shift toward root vegetables at market," says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market. "The array of colors of potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, cauliflower, radishes and kohlrabi is dazzling! We are spending every work day bringing truckloads of potatoes, carrots and beets in from the field, in order to stay ahead of the inevitable cold weather."
And Andrea Trent from the Spenard Farmers Market says the produce list is lengthy: "Our extensive A-Z produce list for this coming Saturday will include: arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chilies, cucumbers, garlic, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mixed greens, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, salad and spring mixes, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips and zucchini."
Here are some market highlights:
This week, Farm 779 will be at both the Wednesday and Saturday South Anchorage Farmers Markets.
Julie Meer of Farm 779 says she will be "rolling in with tables packed full of fermented veg and ketogenic friendly goodness." Farm 779's offerings include fennel bulbs, coconut kefir, ginger turmeric kombucha, beet kvass and coconut-based body products. Farm 779 is also at both South Anchorage Farmers Markets this week.
Duane Clark will have cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, peppers, kale, beef and yak meat, local honey, beeswax, salsa and jams.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
If you need proof autumn is right around the corner, look no further than Rempel Family Farm's booth on Saturday. It will include Brussels sprouts for the first time this year. Other highlights include carrots, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, green beans, celery, spaghetti squash, broccoli, white and Romanesco cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, greens and herbs.
Arctic Choice will have loads of coho salmon as fillets, whole fish, heads and stuffed portions. Other seafood includes halibut and oysters from Kahreen Passage and Simpson Bay.
Spenard Farmers Market
In addition to Trent's lengthy vegetable list, the Spenard market also has a great selection of Alaska fruits this week, including apples, currants, raspberries, salmonberries and strawberries.
"We'll have fresh alpine honey as well as wild raspberry and blueberry honey jams from Wild Rose Natural Harvests," Trent says. "Don't forget to pick up some hog lard salve 'oinkment' from Chugach Farms, an organic beneficial addition to your current hair and skin care regimen."
Airport Heights Community Farmers Market
Alaska Seeds of Change will be among the vendors lined up outside Fire Island Bakery on Wednesday. Look for Siberian kale, bok choy, lettuce mix, arugula, mesculin mix, rainbow Swiss chard, chives, Genovese basil and dill.
Mountain View Farmers Market
More than a dozen vendors are lined up for Thursday's market.
"This week, Alley Berry will display homemade fresh fruit jam. Also this week, The Smokehouse BBQ is coming with scrumptious food and tasty menu," market manager Mahdi Akal says.
Produce vendors include Fresh International Gardens, The Vang Family, Ba-Lescas Brothers and Black Bear Farms.
Muldoon Farmers Market
Highlights from the Saturday Muldoon market include Alley Berry with a variety of jellies, the Shrimp Guy with shrimp and scallops, and produce from eight farms and gardens.
Produce options include salad mixes, carrots, red and golden beets, four colors of cauliflower, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, kohlrabi, potatoes, zucchini, turnips, onions, cabbage and many kinds of leafy greens and herbs.
Alex Davis of A.D. Farm has plenty of vegetables for this week's thrice-weekly market. Produce options include red and green cabbage, zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, snow peas, red beets, broccoli, lettuces, collards, chard, spinach, kale, strawberries, rhubarb, snow apples, salad mix and potatoes.
He also has plenty of pork, grass-fed beef, raspberry jam, eggs and Alaska Sprouts items.
Anchorage Farmers Market
Bean says Arctic Organics will have onions, Chioggia beets and rutabaga at the market for the first time this weekend. The potatoes are piling up too, with Yukon gold, Magic Molly purple, Desirée pink and red French fingerling as loose potatoes and in 5-pound bags. Other produce includes orange and purple carrots; red and golden beets; fennel; white, purple, yellow and green cauliflower; and red and green cabbage.
Other vendors include Brown Dog Farm, Ed & Tina's Krauts & Pickles, Happy Valley Chickens' eggs, Mom's Garden, Seldovitsch Farm, Stockwell Farm, Sun Fire Ridge, Turkey Red Café breads and treats, Vang Family Farm and VanderWeele Farm.
Northway Mall Wednesday Market
Dinkel's Veggies will have carrots, green beans, green and yellow zucchini, tomatoes, new potatoes, sweet onions, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, leaf lettuce, pickling cucumbers and cabbage at the Northway Mall and other markets throughout the week.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local farmers markets
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.; Northway Mall Wednesday Market, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Northway Mall; South Anchorage Wednesday Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., near Dimond Center Hotel
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; Wasilla Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Iditapark
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., 333 W. Fourth Ave.
Saturday in Anchorage: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 15th Avenue and Cordova Street; Anchorage Market and 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., 333 W. Fourth Ave.; 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: 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 and 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 and Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 333 W. Fourth Ave.
Sunday outside of Anchorage: Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks