Just like everyone else, the farmers can't quit talking about our recent weather. Of course, they see things a little differently than the average Alaskan.
"What a fine September so far," says Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics and the Anchorage Farmers Market. "We had a tiny nip of frost this morning just before the sun crested the mountains to our east. Nothing was frost-killed, but it's sure a sign of what's inevitably coming soon.
"The upside of these cooler nights is that the apples are ripening! We'll have at least three varieties at market this weekend: Norland, Oriole and Rescue."
In addition to the fresh apples, Arctic Organics will have several varieties of potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower in several colors, greens, herbs and other produce.
Also at the Anchorage Farmers Market is Rob Wells, The Persistent Farmer, with his dahlia blooms.
"This sunshine has been amazing for bringing out the blooms," Wells says. "Last week, there were multiple dinner-plate sizes available, and it looks like there will be some 12-inch blooms this week too."
Other vendors include Brown Dog Farm, Happy Valley Chickens' eggs, Mom's Garden, Seldovitsch Farm, Shaggy Mane Shroomery, Stockwell Farm, Sun Fire Ridge, Turkey Red Café breads and treats, VanderWeele Farm and Vang Family Garden.
South Anchorage Farmers Markets
Wednesday's South Anchorage market near the Dimond Center Hotel will feature five farms. Highlights include Glacier Valley Farm with new Yukon gold potatoes, three varieties of beets, carrots, Yensis onions, zucchini and cucumbers; Stockwell Farm has zucchini, onions, tomatoes, pumpkins, winter squash and artichokes; Earthworks Farm will have carrots, broccoli, chard, broccolini and lots of flowers, including so many sunflower stems; Arctic Wonder Marketplace will have tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, beets and lettuce; and Two Sisters Farm will have lots of potatoes, along with herbs and jars of jams and pickles.
Saturday's market includes 30-plus vendors, including Beach Tribe Soda Works, Wild Child Fermented Salsas, Wild Scoops ice cream, Far North Fungi, Honey Bucket Ranch with honey from Tok, plenty of veggie vendors and Pam's Veggies will also have new chickens and turkeys.
Among those selling vegetables is Seeds of Change. They will have lettuce, strawberries, several varieties of mint and basil, dill, chervil, parsley, chives and nasturtium.
Muldoon Farmers Market
Jerrianne Lowther says the market "will be loaded with fresh fall produce this week — green beans and broccoli, colorful carrots, beets, and cauliflower. Bulk carrots are in at Arctic Wonder Marketplace. Phul's Garden added Asian eggplant this week."
Other vendors include Black Bear Farms with New Zealand spinach, turnips, tomatoes and kohlrabi; Fresh International Gardens with sunflowers, salad mix, pickled and fermented food; BaLescas Brothers with Mexican breads and produce; Dinkel's Veggies with pumpkins, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini; and Alley Berry Jelly has added crabapple jelly to its lineup.
Farm 779 and Duane Clark head the indoor market this week.
Julie Meer of Farm 779 says its "K season" with "kefir, kvass, kombucha, krauts, krauts and more krauts." She also has food-grade body products and a variety of foods for canines, including beef pucks, treats and tendons.
Clark will have local honey, grass-fed beef, ground yak, salsa, heirloom tomatoes and assorted other veggies.
Spenard Farmers Market
Mark Butler says this might be best week of autumn at the market. "There is a special time of every fall when there are simply piles and piles of produce at the market," he says. "That time is now."
Among the vendors are Chugach Farm with rainbow chard, snow apple turnips, ferments and kombucha; Dinkel's veggies with potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini; Four Tern Farm with salad mix, carrots, radishes and squash blossoms; Black Bear Farm with cabbage, celery and New Zealand spinach; D&L with pickled veggies; Coddle and Cosset with chocolate; and plenty of tasty food options from Rosie's, Midnight Sun Cakery and Yeti Dogs.
As the seasons change, so do the items at the Center Market. Alex Davis says "honey is in!" It will be available in pint and half-pint jars. He also has honeycomb.
"Also starting this week, I will be selling frozen chicken for Bogard Food Hub," Davis says.
Davis' vegetables this week include 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. He also has chicken, duck, turkey and Guinea eggs. And, as always, Davis has a wide selection of pork cuts to pick from, including chops, loin roast, ribs and sausages.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.
Local farmers markets
Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Midtown Mall, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; 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; 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
Saturday in Anchorage: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 15th Avenue and Cordova Street; Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Midtown Mall, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; 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