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Food and Drink

Summer heat is speeding up the pace of vegetables coming through farmers markets

The kids are back in school. The Alaska State Fair kicked off this week. And harvests — in the field and from the sea — continue to be prolific.

From the seafood world, Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods says despite the signs that autumn is just around the corner, the fishing is still hot.

“Even though the weather is starting to cool slightly, and the kids are going back to school, the seafood world is still plugging away strong,” he says. “Fresh cohos are being caught with a few sockeyes mixed in. A treat we have not seen in a while is fresh true cod fillets from the Gulf of Alaska. These flaky white-meated fillets are delicious and would look great on top of anyone’s grill.”

Southall says halibut is also readily available too.

From the markets, Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics says “smoke blankets our farm again, as it did in July. It makes for a surreal day of harvesting in the brownish light.” But on the positive side, “our second kale crop will finally be heading to market this week. Tender, young kale makes fantastic kale salads.”

And Mark Dinkel says the summer’s Lower 48-like temperatures have created some great tomatoes.

“I always wonder when people tell me they don’t like tomatoes because vine-ripened tomatoes from Alaska can’t be compared with store-bought tomatoes,” Dinkel says. “We will have lots of tomatoes at all our market locations this week.”

Dinkel’s Veggies can be found at the Muldoon, Spenard and Downtown markets on Saturday and at the Dimond Mall parking lot and in Wasilla on Wednesday.

For Mark Rempel of Rempel Family Farm, a quick dose of reality put an end to the summer’s heat wave.

“We touched 32 degrees,” he says. “That pretty well stopped our zucchini, pickling cucumbers and green beans. So, we will have some that were not damaged this week but they will be our last for this season.” Get those at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturday

At the markets

Muldoon Farmers Market: Jerrianne Lowther says the market is “a great place to fill up your freezer with fish and seafood from The Shrimp Guy and all those late summer vegetables.”

Among the veggie haul is Asian eggplant from Phul Gardens; ripe tomatoes, sweet onions, pickling cucumbers, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and other options from Dinkel’s Veggies, Black Bear Farms and several local Mountain View gardeners.

South Anchorage and Midtown markets: Barbara Landi says that fresh honey has been a challenge this year, but it’s still available from multiple vendors at the market. “The dry weather has been hard on honey producers. As one beekeeper told me, ‘Bees can’t make honey from strawflowers.’ Yet there is honey at the market. And Alaska honey is among the most prized honey anywhere due to its clear and light flavors, which is due to the flowers that only grow in the far north.

Other market highlights include celery, winter squash, carrots, greens and Mark Rempel says he will have first-of-the-year Brussels sprouts and parsnips.

Anchorage Farmers Market: In addition to the new batch of kale, Bean says Arctic Organics will have cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, carrots, snow apple turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, loads of greens and herbs.

Arctic Organics is joined by a full group of vendors, which includes Hatcher Pass Dahlias and Brown Dog Farm with flowers and the Magpie food truck.

Center Market: Alex Davis says the market highlights include Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, larger green cabbage, fennel and a wider variety of potatoes. He also has chicken, duck and quail eggs; a variety of pork cuts; grass-fed beef; lamb; jams; and micro greens from Alaska Sprouts.

Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at akmarketfresh@gmail.com.

Local farmers markets

Friday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Midtown Mall

Friday outside of Anchorage: Palmer Friday Fling, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., South Valley Way

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; Anchorage Midtown Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., BP Alaska; Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Midtown Mall; Jewel Lake Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 8427 Jewel Lake Road; Muldoon Farmers Market, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Chanshtnu Muldoon Park; 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

Tuesday outside of Anchorage: Food Bank Farmers Market, 3-6 p.m., Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, 33955 Community College Drive, Soldotna

Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Midtown Mall; South Anchorage Wednesday Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., near Dimond Center Hotel; 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; 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/Wonderland Park

Thursday in Anchorage: Thankful Thursdays market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Midtown Mall

Thursday outside of Anchorage: Peters Creek Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., American Legion Post 33, 21426 Old Glenn Highway

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