The Alaska State Fair kicks off on Thursday.
That means it is giant cabbage harvest season. And it's also time to get some regular-size cabbages, kohlrabi, broccoli and other tasty vegetables at the many area farmers' markets. Throw in some Alaska seafood, some freshly baked breads and sweets, locally grown meats and eggs … you get the idea.
Here's a tip from grower Arthur Keyes of Glacier Valley Farm and the South Anchorage Farmers Market: "The carrots are here and they are as sweet as ever."
Spenard Farmers Market
Plenty of vendors have fresh offerings lined up for Saturday.
Among the highlights are: Chugach Farm's carrots, beets, leeks, celery, pesto, kombucha and smoked herb salt; Glacier City Gardener with an end-of-season blow-out sale, everything potted and ready to go; Dinkel's Veggies' carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage; Spring Creek Farm's carrots, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs; Wildrose Alaska Natural Harvest's raspberry honey jams, blueberry mustards, fireweed pesto and wild berry flower honey; Alaska Gourmet's assorted fresh to-go soups; and Ba-Lescas Brothers' green fava beans, onions, squash blossoms, rainbow beans, sweet and Japanese cucumbers, Spanish zucchini, beets, lettuce and herbs including the hard-to-find epazote, a Mexican herb.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
Clayton Jones of the Crossbar Restaurant will be back for a Chef at the Market event. This week he is focusing on French onion soup, heirloom tomato gazpacho and potato chowder.
"The ingredients … are all readily available at the market," Jones said. "I will go over the ins and outs of the recipes as they are prepared. I will also have available some of the recipes that were created from last week's demo."
The Honor Flight booth will return to the market this week. According to Keyes, the Honor Flight pairs a World War II veteran with a volunteer and flies the veteran to Washington, D.C., to tour memorials and monuments in the capital.
Rise and Shine Bakery is back at the market this week with Alaska potato, spent grain, toasted walnut, Kalamata olive and the always-popular fruited almond loaves.
Other vendors this week include Glacier Valley Farm, VanderWeele Farm, Earthworks Farm, Country Garden Farm, Stockwell Family Farm, Three Bears Farm, Two Sisters Family Farm, Northern Flowers, Arctic Choice Seafoods, the Hungry Squirrel, Sweet and Sassy Kettle Corn, Zoi Food 4 Life, Non-essentials and Drool Central.
Anchorage Farmers Market
Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics said new items arriving this week are bunched beets and new potatoes. They will be alongside tomatoes, fennel, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, a variety of cabbages, broccoli heads and shoots, daikon radish, kohlrabi, snow apple turnips, four varieties of kale, turnip greens, collards, rainbow chard, arugula, a greens mix, nasturtium blossoms, herbs, fresh cut flowers and apple trees.
The apple trees are all 5 years old and "are hardy for successful growing in Alaska," Bean said.
Other vendors scheduled this week include: Stockwell Farm, Persistent Farmer, VanderWeele Farms, Northern Flowers, Vang Family Home Garden, The Magpie farm-to-table fare and Turkey Red baked goods.
Country Health Foods will have spot shrimp, strawberries, Alaska Sprouts items, smoked salmon and smoked black cod, tomatoes, jams and local raw honey.
Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free is now packaging items in glass mason jars. Among the menu items this week are roasted beets and sweet potato soup, carrot ginger soup, chunky split pea soup, red lentil dahl, red beans and wild brown rice with pico de gallo, fresh bread and a frozen dough ball.
Alex Davis of A.D. Farm will have loads of vegetables including broccoli, a variety of cauliflowers, kale, lettuce, green beans and beets. He will also have pork products and barley products.
Choose Food Wisely and Farm 779 will have full fat coconut non-dairy kefir, kombucha, sprouted quinoa rejuv and a variety of other items at the market on Wednesday. Also look for La Grassa with organic, fresh-cut spinach and original pastas, along with ravioli in the following flavors: roasted tomato and goat cheese; Alaska kale and ricotta; and basil, corn and ricotta.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at email@example.com.
Local farmers markets
Monday: Mat-Su Farm Market, 11 a.m.-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.-6 p.m., Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Northway Mall Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Northway Mall; South Anchorage Wednesday Market, Dimond Center, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.; Wasilla Farmers Market, near Wasilla Wonderland Park, 11 a.m.-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.-2 p.m.15th Avenue and Cordova Street in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot; 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., Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Homer Famers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ocean Drive; South Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Subway/Cellular One 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.-3 p.m.; Spenard Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Spenard Road and 26th Avenue
Sunday: Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets