Alaska Farmland Trust is encouraging everyone to drink beer and save farms.
At least that's the point of the trust's first fund-raiser of the year on Tuesday at 49th State Brewing Co. The chefs are preparing menu items featuring Alaska grown products and the event will feature a specialty brewed beer made with unmalted barley from VanderWeele Farms in the Valley. Entertainment is provided by the Super Saturated Sugar Strings.
"We're currently working on a project to protect 70 acres in Palmer and have two more applications in queue that would put an additional 110 acres into permanent protection," says Amy Pettit, executive director of Alaska Farmland Trust. "We work to secure Alaska's food future by permanently protecting Alaska's farmlands. We can't do this work without the support of Alaskans and are so thankful that they see the value in our efforts."
Tickets are $20 for adults and children 12 and under are free with a suggested donation at the door. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music plays from 7-9 p.m. Pettit says Alaska Farmland Trust's signature Drink Beer, Save Farms! swag will be for sale at the event.
From the sea
Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods says the "seafood world is chomping at the bit waiting for the halibut season to start on Saturday."
Southall says the weather forecast looks favorable for the commercial boats to head out and haul in the first fresh halibut in months. He said to expect fresh headed and cleaned fish, along with fillets, soon after Saturday's opening.
For those who can't wait for a seafood fix, Southall says fresh troll-caught king salmon from Southeast is in the store, along with fresh cod from the Gulf of Alaska.
If you didn't notice, we've changed seasons. It's spring!
For most farmers, that means it's time to get busy.
"We're currently in progress of acquiring this season's seeds for flowers and vegetables and beginning our seeding protocol," says Dee Barker of Earthworks Farm. "Our protocol entails starting our seedlings in 'soil blocks' indoors in early April. It's hard to imagine we will be seeding in only a couple of weeks when we see so much snow on the ground."
Alex Davis of AD Farm is similarly busy.
"Spring seems to be saying 'hi,' for the moment," he says. "So we are working hard doing spring cleaning and market prep."
For the thrice-weekly market, Rob Wells will also get shoppers thinking spring with his dahlia tubers. Wells will be at the Wednesday and Saturday markets—he's not there on Friday.
"My inventory is complete, and I have over 100 varieties that I can offer for sale this spring," Wells says. "The colors, forms and sizes should give folks plenty of choices for their garden this summer."
Barker and Earthworks Farm will be at all three markets with the last few jars of last year's honey crop, along with chaga chunks and body care products featuring beeswax and honey.
Davis will be at all three markets with storage crops, pork cuts, eggs and other items. Davis' vegetables include beets, potatoes and carrots. Pork options include loin roast, chops, sausage, chorizo, ribs and other cuts. He also has raspberry jam, pumpkin butter and apple butter.
Monica's Confection Connection will be at all three markets with sweets "to help fill Easter baskets," owner Monica Droz says. The basket-fillers include ½-pound chocolate fudge Easter bunnies, gummies, caramels, salted caramels and a wide selection of brittles.
Rempel Family Farm is at the Saturday market with cuts of yak meat and storage vegetables. The veggies include orange and purple carrots, stripetti squash, kohlrabi, four varieties of beets, purple onions, green and purple cabbage, and 11 kinds of potatoes.
Davis says these items or vendors will also be at the market on various days: Alaska Flour Co.'s barley products; Alaska Sprouts with micro greens, sprouts, tofu and basil; 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.
The weekly market features plenty of items, from black cod to vegan soup bowls and coconut kefir.
Duane Clark's regular lineup of grass-fed beef, pork, black cod fillets, smoked black cod, Pacific cod, sockeye salmon, spot shrimp and scallops, salsa, Alaska Sprouts items and zucchini relish will all be available Thursday.
Rosie's Pasta is back at the market from Sterling with fettuccine, veggie spirals and three varieties of quick vegan soup bowls.
Farm 779 will also be at the market with old world style lacto-ferments, body products, and ketogenic snacks. "Coffee cacao chip cookie is the star this week," says owner Julie Meer. "This cookie tastes a bit like a decadent chocolate fudge."
Other items at the Farm 779 booth include coconut "bacon," snacks, four varieties of coconut kefir, hot kraut, stout kraut, spring kraut, onions, citrus, kombucha tea, kvass and blends.
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.