An urban food tour? Right here in Anchorage?
Starting Saturday, Food Research, Enterprise, and Sustainability Hub (FRESH) of the North and Alaska Farm Tours are partnering to share a look inside the food production and delivery process that affects all of us in Alaska with the Anchorage Urban Farm and Food Tour.
The tour starts at the “What Why How We Eat” food exhibit at the Anchorage Museum at 9 a.m. The five-hour tour includes stops at the Port of Alaska, an indoor hydroponics farm, a local kombucha brewery and ends with lunch at the South Anchorage Farmers Market. Transportation is included.
“We want to give participants a glimpse into some of the exciting and community-oriented food projects and businesses in Anchorage,” said Liz Snyder, co-director of FRESH. “We celebrate the Valley and the Interior, for example, as hotbeds of local food production. This is an opportunity in Anchorage to highlight complementary, socially minded urban production, as well as value-added food businesses.”
Tours are offered June 8, June 22, July 13, July 27, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24. Tickets are $130 per person for adults, $115 for seniors and $95 for children ages 3-17. Visit the farm tour website for more information and to reserve a spot.
“I’m especially excited to highlight some of the efforts supported by the Municipality, as a way to demonstrate the importance of involving the broader community and multiple stakeholder groups in expanding urban food production, as well as business development,” Snyder said. “We’ll use our time together on the bus between locations to talk about how much food we import, trends in food business development/opportunities/needs and answer questions folks might have.”
From the markets
A sure sign that summer is coming on quickly is the arrival of more fresh produce at the markets, including rhubarb.
“Rhubarb is coming,” said Barb Landi from the South Anchorage Farmers Market. “There was a small amount last week from Glacier Valley Farm and there should be more this week and increasing as we go through June.”
Alex Davis of AD Farm and the Center Market says his rhubarb crop is coming along and he will have it with him this week at all three markets. Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics says their rhubarb crop is coming in too.
Spenard Farmers Market: Mark Butler says “more and more produce growers” are showing up weekly.
This week, fresh salad greens are radishes are available from Four Tern farms, while Midnight Sun Farms, Wildrose and Ba-Lesca Brothers will also be at the market.
South Anchorage Farmers Market: When it comes to fresh items, the options are growing, Landi says.
“Harvest Point Farm from Point Mackenzie has plump bags of mixed salad greens, along with unique additions like pea tendrils and shoots,” she says. Rempel Family Farm is bringing in organic arugula, mizuna, kale and salad mix to this week’s market. Three Bears Farm will have basil and bok choy cultivated via aquaponics.
Anchorage Farmers Market: Lots of flower options at the market, but you might want to get there early.
“We had a great week and sold out of tulips and daffodils by noon,” says Ben Swimm of Brown Dog Farm. “We will have more this weekend, and maybe some bunches of short-stemmed anemone as well.”
He says tulip colors include purples, reds and pastels. Rob Wells from Hatcher Pass Dahlias will have large and small pots of dahlia starts, along with nasturtium baskets, and Arctic Organics also will have hanging baskets.
Also look for fresh, greenhouse-grown arugula, lettuces, chives and scallions from Arctic Organics.
Center Market: Davis says his farm “dodged the hail on Monday,” which means they’re just busy with “normal” farm work and not repairs. Highlights at this week’s market include a variety of eggs (chicken, duck, goose, turkey, guinea and quail), storage crops and huge selection of pork cuts. Other market vendors and items include Alaska Sprouts, Flourishing, Fat Corgi Confections and Mosquito Mama.
Find your farmers market:
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; 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; 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: Healy Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Mile 249.2 Parks Highway; Highway’s End Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Delta Junction; Homer Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ocean Drive; 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
Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Midtown Mall, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Wednesday Market at Airport Heights, 3-7 p.m., Fire Island Rustic Bake Shop, 2530 E. 16th Ave.
Wednesday outside of Anchorage: Highway’s End Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Delta Junction; Homer Farmers Market, 2-5 p.m., Ocean Drive; Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks.