Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics used the "F" word when talking about what's going on at some Valley farms.
"We had our first light frost this morning," she says.
But it's not necessarily bad news, because the frost "serves to intensify the flavors and colors of our produce, and also to ripen more of the apples," she says. "It has not yet killed the potato plants, so we will continue to have new potatoes this weekend. The cut flowers are in the pre-frost peak of the season!"
But that first frost is a warning. Get to the markets now.
You have to pay attention when visiting Alex Davis at the market. Sometimes the color options are overwhelming.
He will have four varieties of potatoes, carrots in four colors, five varieties of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, fava beans, sugar snap peas, beet greens, collard greens, kale, lettuce and kohlrabi all from the field this week. Also look for barley products and a lineup of pork items that includes chops, sausage, steaks and hocks.
Duane Clark of County Health Foods is highlighting one of the true signs of autumn -- apples.
"Apples are showing up now," he says. "Alaskan apples offer so many choices of ways to enjoy them: sauce, juice, baked, sliced, chopped, etc. ... I have multiple varieties and when prepared together they just get better."
He also has Alaska smoked black cod and smoked Copper River red salmon, herbs, jams, salsa, strawberries, local pure raw honey, and dahlias from The Persistent Farmer on Wednesday.
Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free will be at Wednesday's market with its regular lineup, including soups, red lentil dahl, red beans and wild brown rice, spaghetti sauce, lemon-garlic hemp-seed salad dressing and other items.
Farm 779 & Choose Food Wisely will have root-beer kefir soda, kombucha coffee, kombucha chai, coconut kefir and other items.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
Chef Clayton Jones will be back at the market as part of the Chef at the Market program. He will be highlighting easy brunch items, including a root vegetable hash and heirloom tomato bloody Marys (virgin). Also look for some tips on simple pickled vegetables and carrots.
Vendor highlights include:
Earthworks Farm will have fresh crabapples, along with vegetables, cut flowers, and beeswax and honey natural body care products.
Rempel Family Farm will have four varieties of beets, seven varieties of potatoes, three varieties of cabbage, cucumbers, celery, cauliflowers, bok choi, daikon, onions, salad mix, mizuna, herbs and other items.
Anchorage Farmers Market
Among the highlights from Arctic Organics this week will be purple-top turnips; Romanesco broccoli; tatsoi; new potatoes; celery; salad onions; carrots; tomatoes; fennel; red bell peppers; sugar snap peas; beets; white, yellow and purple cauliflower; green, red, and savoy cabbage; broccoli side shoots; daikon; kohlrabi; snow apple turnips; scallions; loads of greens, including four types of kale, turnips, collards and rainbow chard; herbs, including parsley, basil, thyme, sage and oregano; fresh-cut flowers; and apples.
Spenard Farmers Market
Expect lots of options from the vendors in Spenard. Highlights include Wildrose Alaska Natural Harvests with wild blueberry pecan vinaigrette, lime pepper jellies and blueberry peach jams; Glacier Valley Farm with beets, lettuce, zucchini and sweet onions; and Dinkel's Veggies with tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, strawberries and other items. (Also look for the Dinkel's at Wednesday's Northway Mall Market, Saturday and Sunday at the Anchorage Market and Festival and at multiple markets in Wasilla.)
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.
Local farmers markets
Monday: Mat-Su Farm Market, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Palmer Depot
Tuesday: Eagle River Farmers Market, VFW, 3-7 p.m.
Wednesday: APU Farmers Market, 1:30-6:30 p.m., 4101 University Drive; Center Market, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Northway Mall Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Northway Mall; South Anchorage Wednesday Market, Dimond Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wasilla Farmers Market, near Wasilla Wonderland Park, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday: Peters Creek American Legion Post 33 Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., 21643 Old Glenn Highway
Friday: Willow Farmers Market, 2-7 p.m., Mile 69 Parks Highway
Saturday: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15th and Cordova in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot; Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets; Center Market, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Homer Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ocean Drive; South Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Subway/AT&T Sports Center at the corner of Old Seward Highway and O'Malley Road; Saturday; Eagle River Farmers Market, Mike's Meats in Eagle River, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Spenard Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Spenard Road and 26th Avenue
Sunday: Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets