Food and Drink

Got your eye on growing dahlias this year? Tubers are showing up at local farmers markets

Rob Wells grows and sells dahlias and dahlia tubers from his Palmer, AK area farm. One of the many varieties on dahlias Wells grows is the Alfred C dahlia photographed in one of his greenhouses August 28, 2013. (Bob Hallinene / ADN)

Last fall's potatoes (and beets and carrots) or this summer's dahlia plants, the thrice-weekly Center Market at the Mall at Sears is the place to grab something for your table or garden.

And the Thankful Thursdays market and the Fourth Avenue Indoor Market have plenty of options too.

At the Center Market, Rob Wells will have dahlia tubers on both Wednesday and Saturday.

"The tubers are showing their 'eyes'—where they sprout from—and that means the winter nap is coming to an end," Wells says. "I will bring in extra 'tuber clumps' to show folks how to divide last year's plants into multiple starts."

Alex Davis of AD Farm will have storage crops from last autumn, including beets, potatoes both loose and in 5- and 10-pound bags, and carrots in four colors. Davis also has chicken eggs, raspberry jam, pumpkin butter and apple butter.

Davis, as always, will have a large selection of pork cuts. His pasture-raised pork cuts include: loin roast, chops, fresh side sliced, ground pork, spicy sausage, Italian 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.

Rempel Family Farm is at the Saturday market with cuts of yak meat and storage vegetables. The veggies include orange and purple carrots, parsnips, daikon radish, stripetti squash, kohlrabi, four varieties of beets, green and purple cabbage, purple onions and 11 kinds of potatoes.

Davis says these items or vendors will also be at various market days: Alaska Sprouts with micro greens, sprouts, tofu and basil; Alaska Flour Co.'s barley products; Alaska Seeds of Change; Wild Child fermented salsa; Far North Fungi's mushrooms; 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.

Thankful Thursdays

Julie Meer of Farm 779 is bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to the market at the Mall at Sears this week.

"Bright yellow fermented lemons are on the table this week," she says. "Chop coarsely and add to green salad with a sprinkle of feta cheese and our fermented onion for a Mediterranean treat worthy of staycation status."

Farm 779 also has ketogenic cacao chip cookies, coconut bacon, coconut kefirs, vegetable krauts and blends, beet kvass and kombucha. Meer also has coconut-based body products at the market.

Duane Clark will have a variety of items available this week, including birch syrup, local honey, honeycomb, salsa , jams, zucchini relish, grass fed beef, local pork, black cod, sockeye salmon, Pacific cod, spot shrimp, scallops, smoked black cod, potatoes, Denali Dog Treats and Clear Alaskan Glacier Water.

Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at akmarketfresh@gmail.com.

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.