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October 28, 2021

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Think Globally, Eat Locally! Anchorage Farmers’ Market Tour

The Mudflats decided to take on an excruciatingly horrible assignment. As agonizing as it was, someone had to do it. We summoned up our inner strength and did a round of the farmers’ markets in Anchorage! And we somehow managed to live to tell the tale.

The farmers’ market is a relatively new phenomenon here, and has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. Each of the three Saturday farmers’ markets has its own personality, so I went to all three.

Spenard Farmers’ Market

Location: Under the Windmill at Spenard, between 25th & 26th Avenue
Website : www.spenardfarmersmarket.org 
Time: Saturday 9:00am – 2:00pm

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French press coffee, local baked goods, and herbal salves.

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The Fishalicious booth is one of many food stands that characterize this market.

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Bunnies!

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Adorable kid and bunny!

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Bunny kid and his talented brother played and sang beautifully, and earned a couple Mudflats bills in the tip jar.

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There’s nothing like local honey.

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The Spenard Market also has several booths with crafts and assorted sundries.

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You can even buy a haiku! From an actual typewriter!

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And as everywhere in Alaska, dogs are always welcome.

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Now we’re talking.

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Back to the Fishalicious wagon!

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Salmon sliders. Oh, yes.

 

Anchorage Farmers’ Market

Location: 1420 Cordova Street Anchorage
Web site:  www.anchoragefarmersmarket.org
Time: Saturday, 9:00am – 2:00pm

This market is located just east of one of my favorite Alaska-themed art installation.

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It’s the smallest market of the three, but has a hidden treasure – The Magpie.

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This has been my favorite food experience at any of the markets I’ve been to. The menu had only 3 items, but it was still hard to choose. All the ingredients are fresh and local. Zach went with the egg sandwich which he raved about – local eggs, homemade bread, fresh greens and local tomatoes.

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I opted for the pizza. The barley dough was grilled while I waited.

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The lightly charbroiled crust was topped with goat cheese, greens, zucchini, roasted potatoes, onions, olive oil and grey sea salt from Sitka.

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Amanda Cash – mistress of The Magpie.

 

South Anchorage Farmers’ Market

Location: Subway Sports Centre/Cellular One Sports Anchorage (Corner of Old Seward and O’Malley)
Web site: www.southanchoragefarmersmarket.com
Time: Saturday, 9:00am – 2:00pm

This market has really taken off. It was jammed today, and had by far the largest selection of produce.

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The South Anchorage Farmers’ Market has great music.

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… and interesting tips!

 

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And wine tasting by Wine Styles.

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Allison, the bread legend.

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Alaska sprouts and tofu!

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Heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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Jams, jellies, and honey from the Mat-Su.

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Rhubarb, for anyone who hasn’t had it take over their yard yet.

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The strawberries sold out almost immediately…

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ZOOKS!

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Unloading a fresh batch of tomatoes.

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Oyster mushrooms!

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Cruciferous heaven.

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I loaded up on broccoli and cauliflower this week.

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The lettuce was basketball-sized!

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Local meats, fresh, and jerkified.

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And amazing seafood, of course!

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Organic herbs, and greens.

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Colors, textures, and tastes…

I loaded up on broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, red lettuce, and carrots. And I met Linda Kellen Biegel on line! Great Mudflats minds think alike.

If you have yet to check out the markets, you could certainly do all three in one day. May I recommend breakfast at The Magpie on Cordova; stocking up on veggies, bread, and seafood in South Anchorage, and wrapping it up with the yummy food booths and browsing local crafts in Spenard.

Whatever you do, supporting local growers, artisans, and entrepreneurs has never been easier or more deliciously fun!

Comments

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Comments
27 Responses to “Think Globally, Eat Locally! Anchorage Farmers’ Market Tour”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Just out of curiosity,what kind of prices are we talking for jars of jelly or different kinds of veggies in Anchorage,or Alaska in general? I need a good scare.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      I don’t know about the big city mikey but this is about what we pay here in my part of the state for Alaskan made jams and jellies, if we don’t make our own :
      http://www.simplepleasuresak.com/

      This is a wonderful small business and if you can’t get time to get your own kelp for the year their kelp goodies are wonderful! Neighbors got me started on kelp salsa last year and I’m now addicted
      I don’t make much jam or syrup anymore myself but swap potatoes for it all . The queen of spuds, who’d a dreamt that was on my horizon?
      Swap spuds and fresh peas for salmon a lot too 🙂

      search Tim Meyers farm Bethel Alaska if you want to see some amazing produce. He keeps retail costs at less than half of shipped in produce but shipped in is so bad you don’t really want to know what the cost is unless you have an EMT handy to restart your heart…

      • mike from iowa says:

        Salmonberries are rilly colorful,probably full of anti-oxidants and worth dying for if a bear gets his mitts on pickers. I prefer to leave bears in pieces so they can’t ever eat me-in this life or the next. Love to drop by and chat but I’d probably run into Forest Grump-the largest,meanest freaking grizzly the world has ever known,before I ever get to say hello.Bears and mikeys don’t mix.

  2. leenie17 says:

    Wow, Jeanne, what a sacrifice you made for all of your mudpups…must have been soooo difficult eating and buying all those yummy foods! 😉

    This afternoon I am heading out to my local farmstand for some tomatoes to go with the corn and beans I bought the other day. Then I’ll be hitting a veggie source even MORE local…my backyard…for some lettuce and cucumbers for dinner.

    The higher fence I put up last summer (AFTER most of my veggies were decimated by a horde of rabbits and a VERY chubby woodchuck) seems to be working quite well this season. I’ve had a ton of lettuce, snap and snow peas, and basil so far. My tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and cucumbers are running just a bit late because of the record rain we had last month, but promising a nice crop. The two kinds of oregano that were supposed to be annuals from last year came roaring back again this spring (obviously did NOT read the plant tag!). And the dill I planted last year reseeded and it’s come up in several unexpected but welcome places around the garden this year. I planted one zucchini plant on the side of the garage (no room in the veggie bed) and I suspect it’s going to start producing quite a lot of the ‘zooks’ in another few days!

    The only problems I’m having are with the pepper plants that are still very small and the beans that keep getting the leaves eaten off. Probably by the same chipmunks that planted a bumper crop of sunflowers in with my veggies and then harvested the seedlings. Who knew chipmunks were so into agriculture?

    Isn’t summer such heaven for veggie lovers??

    • slipstream says:

      Watch out, leenie. I think I saw the woodchuck building a ladder.

      • leenie17 says:

        Oh noes!!!!!

        (Not to worry…he’s wayyy too fat to climb up anything!)

        • slipstream says:

          Yah, but the deal is that the woodchuck will build the ladder, and the bunnies will cut him a percentage of the lettuce they raid.

          I dunno. If I were the woodchuck, I am not sure I would trust those bunnies.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            NEVER trust bunnies!

            • slipstream says:

              Bunnies is very sneaky. And those big ears is scary.

              • leenie17 says:

                Hmmm…you all may be right about this conspiracy theory.

                I DID find a little bunny in the garden last week and I’m a-thinkin’ he may have been the mole (so to speak).

                He was just small enough to fit through the top holes in the fence but got a-skeered when he saw me coming and didn’t jump quite high enough the first few times. He kept hitting the smaller holes and falling back into the garden. I think he might have given himself a bunny-cussion because he seemed a little woozy when he finally made it through the fence and scampered off across the lawn.

                Now I wonder if he’s in cahoots with the woodchuck…

              • slipstream says:

                uh-oh, leenie.

                What you should do is build a bunny-apult. Throw them cute little critters out of your garden, clear over the fence. See if you can hit the woodchuck. But wear your helmet — he just might chuck wood at you.

              • leenie17 says:

                Not sure about the bunny-apult. I have a pair of hummingbirds that visit my yard every day and my aim is pretty lousy. I’m afraid I’d accidentally take out the hummers with the bunny and that would give me a BIG sad. 🙁

          • mike from iowa says:

            Just goes to show what Slipstream knows. Explain exactly how the dumb bunnies get out of Leenie’s garden with their/Her’s/His lettuce if the only ladder is on the outside. Best food in the world comes off a bovine carcass (except liver,off course). and you don’t need to worry about rabbits eating beef. Not that I have anything personally against vegans. My favorite Shania Twain is a vegan and I rilly like her.

            • leenie17 says:

              Uh oh, MIkey.

              I just remembered that there were funny little footprints on the trellis where I grow my peas, cucumbers and beans (if I had any that weren’t eaten by critters). Bet they climb up the trellis and launch the lettuce over the fence to their accomplice(s) on the other side.

              Not so dumb after all, are they???

              • mike from iowa says:

                I was kinda thinking that the woodchuck wanted you to catch and dispose of the bunnies so chubby chuck had the garden all to him/herself. I reckon if coyotes and badgers can work together for the coyote;s benefit,then other critters can conspire to defeat pesky humans. They just have to learn not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Animals trying to plant gardens would look pretty silly. Kinda like rethuglicans trying to legislate morals. Now I’m wondering if your illegal bunnies have calves as big as cantaloupes from hauling ill gotten bales of produce across your garden/border fence? Rilly now,bunnies aren’t that smart. If they were they would be in charge instead of idiot pols.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    I’m off to my most local Greenmarket (that’s what the farmers markets are called here in NYC). Last week I brought a serving of one of my favorite salads (salt massaged fennel and radish, oranges, sweet onion, calamata olives, and olive oil) to the lovely grower from whom I’d purchased the organic fennel. This week I’ll find out what she thought of it.

    On the 17th, I visited Union Square for the Night Market. From 4 to 8 p.m., a group of local restaurants were selling prepared food (made from fresh, local ingredients, of course) during the extended hours at the best Greenmarket in the city. I got $1 off each dish by registering in advance. I don’t have a printer, so I had the bar code photographed on my smart phone. I also bought some maple jalapeno candy, gorgeous beets, fresh peas, and black raspberries. I made friends with a chef from a local restaurant while he shopped for produce.

    Farmers markets are a peerless local resource. Since all the farm subsidies go to soy, corn, wheat, and cotton (and the soy, corn, and wheat are genetically engineered), it’s up to US to support the people who grow our vegetables and fruit, gather the honey, tap the maple trees, bake the bread, and bring the goodness to market. Support your local growers! Join a CSA! Treat the farmers with respect and gratitude! And enjoy the bounty. Anchorage’s markets look like a place I’d feel right at home.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      Maple jalapeno candy?
      verrrry interesting…

      So littlebird and her beau orion are eating mostly vegan these days, zyxomma, and have a small kitchen garden in their yard. She recently asked me how to serve beets that are as delicious as they are nutritious. Now, I had mostly beets from a jar growing up and did like the lovely stains they made,
      or the bit of beets in pickled horseradish or pickled eggs…

      So do you have a favorite way prepare your beets?
      Thanks, dah-link,
      thatcrowwoman

      *waving from the rainforest*

      • slipstream says:

        Slipstream’s Never-Fail Recipe for Beets and Pasta

        Yield: 6 to 8 servings
        Time: About 1 hour, partially unattended

        Two pounds beets
        Butter or oil for greasing the pan
        Salt
        1 pound macaroni or other short cut pasta
        1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
        3 bay leaves
        Pinch cayenne pepper
        Black pepper
        4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (plus 2 optional tablespoons)
        ¼ cup all-purpose flour
        1 pound smoked Gouda or other semi-hard cheese, grated
        1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (optional)

        1. Scrub beets, then slice into quarter-inch rounds. Spread the beets onto a baking sheet.

        2. Heat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add the macaroni and cook until just beginning to turn tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

        3. Put the milk, bay leaves, cayenne, and some salt and pepper in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. As it warms up, put the 4 tablespoons butter in another large saucepan over medium heat. When it melts, add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually whisk the warm milk mixture into the butter mixture and continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and stir in all but about 1 cup of the cheese. Toss the sauce with the macaroni, then transfer the mixture to the greased pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

        3. If you want a breadcrumb topping, put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. When it melts, add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat them with the butter. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese.

        4. Discard the beets. Great for the compost pile, or maybe you have hogs?

        5. Bake macaroni and sauce until the cheese is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Sounds like a gotta-try-it recipe, Slip!

          also too-
          Favorite Beet salad ala Pi.
          (came from a real recipe years ago but has morphed since )

          Steam beets cut into quarters til desired softness. Cube them when cool (skin on or off depends on beet type and personal taste )
          Add as much crumbled feta as you like, chopped onion or leek if you like.
          Add a bit of spicy mustard, a dash of red pepper sauce, then balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Can add salt and pepper if you choose.
          Has a richer flavor at close to room temp so pull it out of the frig while you fix the rest of your meal.
          Is totally yummy but have found that chiogga beets , which cook in candy cane pink stripes, to be visually unappealing to me though tasty and golden beets look more like… well… um…er… uh. Not very appealing visually either.

          • Alaska Pi says:

            Oops, forgot to say I do not know what a vegan would exchange the feta for but I have seen some fabulous similar vegan dishes.

        • thatcrowwoman says:

          hahahahacawcawcaw
          Discard the beets.
          slipstream, I had to get my eyes checked this morning, but I still had to read it 3 times before I got it. Let’s blame it on dilated pupils, eh? Mmmmmm…smoked gouda….

          and Pi, thank you, I’ll send yours on to littlebird. She has learned all kinds of substitutions for dairy and loves playing with recipes and flavors, so she’ll adapt it somehow.

          I’m a dairy-loving omnivore (mama’s people were Norwegian dairy farmers), but eat 5-10 servings of veg and fruit a day, also, too, plenty raw and not much fussed with. I might try your beets myself; everything’s betta with feta …or chedda, or…. oh, my, praise cheezes!

          • Alaska Pi says:

            Son of Pi went through a veggie phobia for a few years of his littlehood and always picked through his whole meal just sure I’d snuck some broccoli or beets in there somewhere. Slip’s crazy recipe reminded me of of Son’s meal requests of that time so I copied it to Son who called it a “keeper” too . 🙂
            He’s now a papa of 2 who juices kale, broccoli, blueberries, and strawberries all the time for his kiddos. I don’t dare tease him about his own littlehood in front of them.

            I hope your littlebird enjoys the beet salad !

  4. Alaska Pi says:

    Oh, I am so rarely jealous of ANC but the fun of multiple markets and that pizza ! Oh my!
    Wonder if it would survive being Gold Streaked?
    Thank you for sharing AKM!

  5. thatcrowwoman says:

    salmon sliders, honey, haiku, mushrooms, and music

    littlebird would be in Gad-Zooks! heaven; I’m with Jeanne in cruciferous heaven.

    What a wonderful virtual field trip.
    Many thanks, Jeanne.

  6. Fred says:

    Oh, the Magpues puzzas are soooooooo good!

  7. This looks so yummy…!! How fortunate you are…..! Every community should be so lucky..

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  1. […] So make sure you bask in the light as much as you can and grab up the last of the summer crop at the local farmers markets. […]



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