As the holiday season marches on, typical "farmers market" vendors are popping up in unusual locations.
On Saturday, the University of Alaska Anchorage Crafts Fair (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the UAA Student Union) will host several of the typical market vendors, including:
• Earthworks Farm: Dee Barker and Earthworks will be at UAA with the Abeille Alaska bath and skin care line, which contains beeswax and/or honey from the farm. Earthworks will have a variety of other gift items and "gourmet honey" from the farm's hives. "Our honey comes from a floral mixture of sunflower, anis hyssop, aster, campanula and 'mallow cultivated flowers as well as Alaskan wildflowers," Barker says.
• Drool Central: Daisy Nicolas will have a variety of fresh-baked treats, fresh-frozen meals and a large selection of "crunchies" for canines.
• Kahiltna Birchworks: Look for birch syrup and other treats made with Alaska's answer to maple syrup.
Wild Child Fermented Foods will be at Birchtree Charter School's Winter Craft Faire from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the school, 7107 E. Palmer Wasilla Highway.
"Please come out for Alaska's most delicious fermented salsas, featuring our original in both mild and spicy, pineapple pepper salsa, blueberry basil salsa and, quickly becoming a new favorite, our kale salsa," says owner Renee Parks "All are delicious and are made with organic and local ingredients whenever possible."
The thrice-weekly market has plenty of options for shoppers, from ham and eggs to yak meat and peppermint marshmallows.
Alex Davis of AD Farm will have pork cuts, vegetables, eggs, raspberry jam, pumpkin butter and apple butter. He also carries items from several Alaska food producers.
Davis' pork options include ham, chops, loin roast, fresh side, ground pork, ribs, roast, a variety of sausages, fat, feet and hocks. His vegetable lineup includes green cabbage, kohlrabi, red and golden beets, carrots in a variety of colors, several potato options and Brussels sprouts.
Davis also will have tofu, sprouts, micro greens and basil from Alaska Sprouts; barley products from Alaska Flour Co.; Evie's Brinery's kimchi and krauts; Windy River Farm's grass-fed beef; and Tonia's Biscotti items.
Monica's Confection Connection will be at the Center Market on Wednesday and Saturday with dark chocolate salted caramel fudge, peppermint marshmallows, holiday spice brittle and a variety of other sweet treats.
Rempel Family Farm will be at Saturday's market with carrots, parsnips, collards, daikon, kale, sugar pumpkins, jumbo pink banana squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, snow apple turnips, kohlrabi, four varieties of beets, green cabbage, purple onions and several varieties of potatoes. The Rempels also have yak meat.
Also look for Wild Child fermented salsa; Alaska Fisherman Seafood Direct with smoked black cod, shrimp, halibut and more; Mosquito Mama balsamic vinegar; Northern Lights Mushrooms; Doggy Decadence; and Jonsers, with hand-crafted nectar.
Shoppers at the Thursday market will find a variety of fermented items from Farm 779, Alaska-grown beef, veggies and honey.
Farm 779 is branching out from its traditional items this week.
"We are known for our beautiful, sustainably grown peony blooms in the summer," owner Julie Meer says. "This week, we introduce our farm-crafted peony blooms for the holidays. Beautiful delicate paper peonies with Swarovski crystal water droplets paired with our peony root chaga mushroom kombucha tea and peony body balm make a festive handmade down home Christmas gift selection straight from Lazy Mountain."
Additionally, Meer says, she will have hand-dipped pure beeswax candles. For food items, Farm 779 will have a fermented cranberry blend, along with coconut kefir, coconut kefir reduction dips, winter blend kruat, beet kvass and cookies.
Duane Clark is adding birch syrup from Kahiltna Birchworks to his items at the market.
"I will have multiple sizes of jars, which make the perfect item for the hostess gift for the holiday get-together or the office party or just plain good toppings on the weekly pancakes and waffles on Saturday morning," Clark says. "Along with those pancakes, I am pleased to announce the addition of pork to the lineup. Fresh side makes the finest 'bacon.'"
Clark also will have honey, salsa, jams, grass-fed beef and yak, potatoes and carrots. Oyster mushrooms from Far North Fungi will also be at the market.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local farmers markets
Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Thursday in Anchorage: Thankful Thursdays market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
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: 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.
Sunday in Anchorage: Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 333 W. Fourth Ave.