There has been plenty of wintry whiteness around Southcentral this week. But as the calendar turns to March — and the Iditarod start and Tour of Anchorage come and go — at least one local farmer is thinking summer colors.
Rob Wells, The Persistent Farmer, says it's time to pull the dahlias out of their winter slumber.
"It's time to start thinking about planting this year's dahlias, and I have a good supply of Alaska-grown tubers for sale," Wells says. "I am still dividing the clumps from last year's plants, so my inventory is a work in progress. I'll bring pictures of the ones that are available, as well as some tubers that have sprouted.
"I will have my usual supply of ones that I lost the identifier tags for — the popular Who's Your Daddy selection — for those who like surprises, priced to sell. We have over 10 hours of possible sunshine this week, so it's time to think spring!"
Wells will be at Saturday's Alaska Botanical Spring Garden Conference. He returns to the Center Market on March 7 and will also be at the market on Saturdays until mid-April. Wells says customers can contact him at 982-7182 or firstname.lastname@example.org for preorders.
Coming from the sea
Dannon Southall at 10th & M Seafoods says the "seafood world is plugging right along even with this fresh blanket of the white stuff."
He says seafood lovers have a special treat of fresh troll-caught king salmon from Southeast this week. "We will have both head-on fish and fillets available this week," he says. "There have been a few white kings mixed in." Southall says he also will have Southeast Alaska oysters.
Coming from the Gulf of Alaska are fresh rockfish ($9.95 per pound) and cod ($6.95/pound) fillets.
The market is a great place for storage crops, a variety of meats, honey, body care products and products from all across Alaska.
Alex Davis of AD Farm will have with carrots in four colors, two varieties of beets and four types of potatoes, along with chicken eggs, raspberry jam, pumpkin butter, apple butter and a wide variety of pork cuts. Those cuts include: chops, loin roast, fresh side sliced, ground pork, Italian sausage, spicy sausage, breakfast sausage, chorizo, fajita meat, ribs, roast, bone for broth, fat for rendering, feet and hocks. AD Farm is at the market Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Dee Barker from Earthworks Farm will be at all three markets with the farm's honey, its skin care products and chaga chunks for making tea. "This time of year, our moisturizing cream is really popular; it's made with our honey, beeswax, coconut oil and almond oil," Barker says.
Rempel Family Farm is at the Saturday market with orange and purple carrots, parsnips, daikon radish, stripetti squash, snow apple turnips, kohlrabi, four varieties of beets, green and purple cabbage, purple onions and 11 kinds of potatoes. They also have a selection of yak meat.
Davis says these items or vendors will also be at the market: Alaska Sprouts with micro greens, sprouts, tofu and basil; Alaska Flour Co.'s barley products; Alaska Seeds of Change; Far North Fungi; Wild Child fermented salsa; Mosquito Mama balsamic vinegar; Windy River Farm grass-fed beef; Tonia's Biscotti; Evie's Brinery items, including krauts; Jonsers' hand-crafted nectars; and Doggy Decadence treats.
Julie Meer says this week Farm 779 is beet-friendly.
"We've got beet kvass, karnivore double beet kraut and fermented phat bottoms," Meer says. "Beets are some of your best friends for nutrient-dense storage crops and winter absorption. Beets are nutritional powerhouses and we use only the best grown in Alaska."
In addition to the beet menu, Meer says to look for ketogenic-compliant cookies and snacks; turmeric, regular, double-thick and citrus coconut kefir; peony-chaga or turmeric-ginger kombucha tea; and fermented vegetables, including Italian spiced Yensis onions.
Duane Clark will have local honey, honeycomb, birch syrup, jams, salsa, zucchini relish, potatoes, Denali Dog Treats, grass-fed beef and products from Alaska Sprouts. His seafood selection includes black cod, smoked black cod, sockeye salmon, Pacific cod, spot shrimp and scallops.
Fourth Avenue Indoor Market
For all those headed downtown this weekend, Alaska Fisherman Seafoods Direct will be at the Fourth Avenue Indoor Market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a full selection of seafood. Options include smoked black cod, smoked salmon and jarred salmon, frozen-at-sea scallops, razor clams, black cod, Pacific cod, ling cod, halibut, rockfish, red salmon and yellow fin tuna.
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.