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Food and Drink

'Piles and piles’: Fresh Alaska vegetables are plentiful at farmers markets

  • Author: Steve Edwards
  • Updated: September 5
  • Published September 5

Stefanie Stewart holds a basket of produce she purchased from vendors at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Aug. 17, 2019. She is holding carrots, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, celery and cauliflower. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Mark Butler from the Spenard Farmers Market puts it simply: “We are at the point where there are piles and piles of produce at the market. The cooler weather means that farmers are harvesting all sorts of vegetables. Everything is here.”

It’s the same story from farmers and markets across Southcentral.

Over at Arctic Organics, Sarah Bean says the proof of the onset of fall is all around the farm.

“We just got in from pressing cider, an annual event here at the farm, which always marks that moment when you can no longer deny that it’s autumn,” Bean says. And Arctic Organics will have a growing supply of apples at the Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturday, including Norland, Geneva early and Hyer 12.

Bean says the produce keeps coming too.

“We’ve still got a bumper crop of wonderful young cabbages,” she says. “Now’s the time to enjoy coleslaw and steamed cabbage with the intense flavor and tenderness of new crop cabbage.”

Also look for carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, snow apple turnips, purple top turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, a huge selection of greens (kale, chard, collard, lettuce and more), along with cilantro, chives, dill, parsley and basil.

Muldoon Farmers Market: Jerrianne Lowther says the market is “loaded with superb September vegetables.” The lengthy list: vine-ripened tomatoes, cabbages, cauliflower, squash, pumpkins, carrots, beets, potatoes, salad mixes, cucumbers, beans, greens, jams, jellies and pickles.

South Anchorage and Midtown farmers markets: Barbara Landi echoes Arctic Organics’ Bean: “Arriving on the market scene now are apples. Suddenly it seems everyone’s got lots of them and they are beautiful.

“Vern Stockwell has lovely artichokes. They are small and compact, the way artichokes should be for optimum flavor and tenderness.”

Landi says only two farms have been affected by recent frost, “so the others still have plenty of zucchini and other summer squash.”

Look for plenty of Romanesco cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, winter squash, sugar pumpkins, parsnips, cabbage, beets, potatoes and greens.

Center Market: Typical of all the markets, Alex Davis says AD Farm will have loads of fresh produce, highlighted by late-season crops like Brussels sprouts, a wide variety of potatoes, cabbage and fennel.

Davis also has pork cuts; chicken, duck and quail eggs; lamb; grass-fed beef; items from Alaska Sprouts; and balsamic vinegar from Mosquito Mama.

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

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 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; 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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