Food and Drink

Market Fresh: This week’s shopping list should include coho, halibut cheeks and squash blossoms

It's certainly been an up-and-down year in the seafood world. But Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods says your Labor Day grill can still be a seafood destination.

"Fresh coho/silver salmon are coming in daily from around the state and are a wonderful barbecuing fish," Southall says. "If flatfish is what you are looking to grace your grill grates with, we will have fresh 10- to 20-pound headed and cleaned halibut. Fillets and cheeks will also be available. … Toward the end of the week live oysters from several spots around the state will be in-house."

Coho are $5.50 per pound for headed and cleaned fish or $8.95/pound for fillets. The headed and cleaned halibut are $9.75/pound for the whole fish.

Loaded farmers markets

As the calendar turns to September, local farmers are ramping up their gathering of crops. One common theme: carrots!

"The abundance of everything continues and everything is bigger each week despite the frequent rain," Barbara Landi of the South Anchorage Farmers Markets. "More carrots and bigger carrots, though the main carrot harvest is yet to come."

Says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market: "Carrots were a smash hit last weekend. We're hoping to repeat it this weekend. The good news is that as we get the carrots thinned and weeded again, they are responding with almost instantaneous growth!"

Here's a rundown of what's available at some of the local markets.

Spenard Farmers Market: Lots of options in Spenard, including cucumbers, three colors of carrots, radish and squash blossoms from Balesca Brothers; cabbage, celery and New Zealand spinach from Black Bear Farm; Chugach Farm with "rainbow chard 30 inches tall, snow apple turnips, ferments and kombucha," according to Mark Butler; and Dinkel's Veggies with carrots, potatoes, green beans, onions, tomatoes and zucchini.

Center Market: Alex Davis of AD Farm has "lots of pork fat for making burger, bratwurst or sausage out of your caribou or moose" for successful hunters. He has lots of other pork cuts, along with sugar snap peas, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes and new-to-the-market pickled beets.

South Anchorage Farmers Markets: "New potatoes so moist and delicious are available, though the machine harvest of all potatoes will come later. Enormous zucchini are also on hand, for those who appreciate big squash," Landi says. She also says Northern Fruits will have hardy berry plants. TheWednesday market features five farmers with potatoes, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs and jars of various pickled products.

Anchorage Farmers Market: Bean says Arctic Organics will have a growing selection of potatoes at the market—alongside those carrots. Other crops include green and red cabbage, celery, fennel, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, four varieties of cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, greens, lettuces and herbs. Other vendors: Brown Dog Farm, Happy Valley Chickens' eggs, Mom's Garden, Persistent Farmer, Seldovitsch Farm, Shaggy Mane Shroomery, Stockwell Farm, Sun Fire Ridge, Turkey Red Café breads and treats, VanderWeele Farm and Vang Family Garden.

Thankful Thursdays: Look for items from three vendors this week–Harvest Point Farms with microgreens and sustainable veggies; Elderberry Essentials with a variety of items, including new Elderberry glyceride tinctures; and Farm 779 with fermented cucumber slices sourced from Harvest Point Farm, along with fermented jalapeno peppers.

Mountain View Farmers Market: Market Manager Khalid Abdulahi says to look for chicken and veggie kabobs, burgers and hotdogs from GMA's Café, and plenty of vegetables from Black Bear Farms, Fresh International Gardens and the Vang Family Farm.

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, 3-7 p.m., 21426 Old Glenn Highway, Chugiak

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