Snow is on the ground. The South Anchorage Farmers Market is closed for the season. But Alison Arians and Dan Schwartz are still baking.
The owners of Rise & Shine Bakery are on their winter baking schedule, which means customers can't simply show up at the farmers market and pick up a loaf or two. But some advance planning can pay off with some homemade goodness.
Rise & Shine is baking for delivery on Nov. 11, and orders can be placed starting Thursday at riseandshinebread.com. The bread menu includes levain and spent grain pan loaves, along with toasted walnut, Kalamata olive and raisin and toasted pecan hearth loaves. The bread can be picked up from 8-10 a.m. at Side Street Espresso or from 4-6 p.m. at Inspire Physical Therapy on Nov. 11.
Arians and Schwartz will be baking several times before the holidays, then settling down to a once-per-month baking schedule in the new year. The bread menu changes depending on the week.
"We only bake five different flavors a week, and we have about 12 loaves we do regularly," Arians says. "Each of those 12 loaves has a contingency of fans -- so if we don't have them in rotation frequently, we get complaints. So it's challenging to add a new flavor, but we do it occasionally if we have a great idea."
Other bread options include Alaska potato, fruited almond, fresh rosemary, onion rye, dark chocolate and cherry, Alaska potato and chive and toasted seed. The breads are either 100 percent whole grain or a mix that includes about 60 percent whole grain.
"Our bread is special because the dough is fermented for three days, which gives it great flavor and also amazing keeping quality -- it freezes and thaws beautifully, and will stay fresh on your counter in its plastic bag for a week," Arians says.
Arians and Schwartz started the bakery in 2007.
"The bakery is a second career for both Dan and I. Neither of us knew 15 years ago that we would build a small commercial bakery attached to our house and start baking artisanal whole-grain sourdough bread for a living," Arians says. "But a thread of 'bread baking as solace' winds through both of our stories."
The indoor Center Market at the Mall at Sears offers marketgoers a comfortable place to search for carrots, potatoes, cuts of meat, sweets and other goodies. The market is open Wednesday and Saturday.
Rempel Family Farm will be at Saturday's market with a 12 varieties of potatoes, eight kinds of winter squash, multiple options for carrots and beets, cauliflower, cabbage, daikon and snow apple turnips.
Alex Davis of A.D. Farm will be at the market both days with a variety of vegetables, including beets, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. He also will have pork products, including chops and sausage; fresh eggs; pies from A Pie Stop; Alaska Sprouts items; and barley products from Alaska Flour Co.
Country Health Foods will be at both markets with Alaska-raised beef, yak, scallops, local honey, salsa, zucchini relish and jams.
Sweet Caribou is offering a wide variety of macarons and other treats at both markets. On Wednesday, the macaron lineup includes creamsicle, Fred Flintstone, birthday cake, passion fruit, chocolate cherry and pumpkin cheesecake. There also will be cupcakes and brownies. Saturday's menu includes cherry chocolate, triple lemon, pumpkin cheesecake, ginger lime, chocolate salted caramel and Mexican hot chocolate macarons.
La Grassa will be at both markets with a selection of locally made pastas. Highlights include mushroom ravioli, sweet potato and blue cheese ravioli, and vegan white bean and sage ravioli.
Julie Meer says Farm 779 is "well stocked with nutrition-dense fermented whole food probiotics." They include cold-fermented krauts, coconut kefirs, organic ginger drinks and three varieties of kvass. Farm 779 will be at Wednesday's market.
Monica's Confection Connection will have a variety of sweet brittles at the market on Wednesday.
Alaska Black Cod will be at the Wednesday market with its smoked and raw black cod and salmon, along with raw Kodiak scallops, Copper River king salmon and Pacific cod. This will be its last market until Nov. 25.
Away from the market
As the holiday season approaches, many typical market vendors will be at other locations.
On Saturday, Earthworks Farm and Drool Central will be at the Rabbit Creek Christmas Town Bazaar. It's set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at South Anchorage High School.
Earthworks Farm will have honey and Abeille Alaska skin care products made with Alaska honey and beeswax. Among the skin care items are body lotion, soaps, lotion bars, deodorant, a waterless moisturizing cream and other items.
Drool Central will have its treats for dogs, including holiday gift boxes.
Farm 779 will be at the Holiday Food & Gift Festival on Saturday and Sunday. It's scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.
Alaska farmers markets
Monday in Palmer: Depot Farm Market, noon-6 p.m., Palmer Depot
Wednesday in Anchorage: Alaska Pacific University Farmers Market, 1:30-6:30 p.m., APU campus in front of Grant Hall; Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Saturday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street