Food and Drink

Height of the harvest: Sweet Alaska ‘designer’ carrots have arrived in markets

A dahlia collects rainwater in Town Square on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. It’s peak time to pick up dahlia blooms at Anchorage farmers markets.  (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)

The Alaska State Fair is upon us, and that means plenty of giant pumpkins and loads of veggies and flowers.

So, look for Rob Wells' beautiful dahlia blooms at the state fair. But swing by the Anchorage Farmers Market to buy some too.

"The bloom produced almost 300 flowers last week, so this week will be even stronger," Wells says. "With the fair starting, I'll be holding out a few stems to enter, and they have been known to win an occasional ribbon. So, come and see these beauties and take them home for a week of enjoyment."

Other vendors at the market include Arctic Organics, Brown Dog Farm, Happy Valley Chickens' eggs, Mom's Garden, Nunaka Valley Honey, Seldovitsch Farm, Shaggy Mane Shroomery, Stockwell Farm, Sun Fire Ridge, Turkey Red Café breads and treats, VanderWeele Farm and Vang Family Garden.

Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics says new items at the market this week include "young, sweet and tender carrots" along with new potatoes and beets. Other vegetables include green and red cabbage, sugar snap peas, celery, fennel, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower snow apple turnips, purple top turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, rhubarb and a wide variety of greens and herbs.

Thankful Thursdays

Farm 779, Elderberry Essentials and Harvest Point Farms will be at the Midtown Mall on Thursday with a variety of probiotic and fermented foods, locally produced syrups and fresh Valley vegetables.

Farm 779's options include several krauts, blends and kvass, along with kombucha tea and dog meals and treats. Elderberry Essentials will have locally sourced honey and birch syrup, along with a new Elderberry glycerite, which is similar to a tincture. Harvest Point's veggies include salad mix, microgreens, zucchini, yellow squash and fresh cucumbers.

South Anchorage Farmers Markets

Barbara Landi says the market includes "some very pretty 'designer' carrots in colorful bunches. Lots of zucchini, greenhouse tomatoes and peppers, assorted berries and flowers, flowers, flowers!"

Wednesday's market at Dimond Center has five farm vendors.

Among the Saturday vendors is Rempel Family Farm with organic carrots, new potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, broccoli, white and green cauliflower, green and purple bunched onions, slicing and pickling cucumbers, zucchini, plenty of herbs and lots of other options.

Muldoon Farmers Market

Jerrianne Lowther says at Muldoon Farmers Market, "August exits in a burst of purple — beets, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, kohlrabi, onions, potatoes (purple mollies) and turnips.

"Lots of color variants show up in late summer veggies, just in time for oven roasting or combining in colorful slaws."

Spenard Farmers Market

Mark Butler says there will be seven farmers at the market this week, including Balesca Brothers, Black Bear Farm, Chugach Farm, Dinkel's Veggies, Four Tern Farm, Midnight Sun Farm and Wildrose Harvest.

"Lots and lots of produce, honey, jams and other food items," Butler says.

Lesley Dinkel says they will have carrots, which she describes as "so yummy and perfect for those school or work lunches, hikes, road trips and anytime snacks. If you have kids, these are always a hit and you don't have to do anything with them, they are ready to eat."

Center Market

Alex Davis of AD Farm will have loads of vegetables, including beans, orange and icicle carrots, salad mix, kale, kohlrabi, snow peas, red and green romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, new Yukon gold and German butterball potatoes, zucchini and rhubarb.

Other items include eggs (chicken, duck, turkey and Guinea), pork cuts, raspberry jam, Alaska Sprouts items, Alaska Flour Co. products, grass-fed beef from Windy River Farm, Evie's Brinery items and others.

Mountain View Farmers Market

Market manager Khalid Abdulahi says with the "the weather turning colder, customers might want to buy jam and preserves," and Alley Berry Jam will be at the market for those looking to do just that.

Fresh International Gardens will have salad mix, beets, carrots, collard greens, turnips, perilla, cilantro, dill, peas, radishes, chives, kale, chard, fermented and pickled products, spice blends, cookies and muffins. Other vendors include Vang Family Farm, Black Bear Farm and Kai's Kakes.

Kenai Farm Tour

The Kenai Farm Tour is coming up on Sept. 8. It's an opportunity to visit three local farms.

"Wondering what it takes to produce and sell food on the Kenai Peninsula?" asks Margaret Adsit of Alaska Farm Tours. "Meet the farmers and hear their stories: how their farms evolved, lessons learned along the way and why they are passionate about what they do. Taste a variety of Alaska Grown wines to complete the tour."

Tickets are $50 and include a wine tasting at Alaska Berries. The tour is sponsored by Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District and Kenai Local Food Connection, in collaboration with Alaska Farm Tours. Visit alaskafarmtours.com for more about the farm tour.

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., Midtown Mall, 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

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., Midtown Mall, 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., Midtown Mall, 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., Midtown Mall, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 333 W. Fourth Ave.; Muldoon Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 1301 Muldoon Road; 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 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