Building community and a healthy food system, one bite at a time.

Winter’s Wednesday Market

Sure, spending a weekend afternoon in the Chilkoot’s parking lot at Spenard Farmer’s Market munching on gluten-free desserts, slobbering over meat on a stick, picking a lovely bouquet of colorful flowers, listening to live music, and stocking up on those fresh veggies is long gone for us January-goers, but the glory of local food still abounds in Anchorage. Did you know?

Well I once did not, but thank-your-goodness now I do. It is the Wednesday Farmer’s Market in the Sears Mall between Benson and Northern Lights on the Seward Highway. That is where the goods are!

A few weeks back, while thinking about whether I could find a Christmas cast-iron waffle skillet for my fiancé at Sears, I decided to check out the market. In a nutshell, or eggshell I should say, I walked away 20 minutes later with two bags full of Alaska-grown delights: Chicken eggs, duck eggs, fresh sprouts (beet, daikon, sunflower, and more), goat for stewing, sweet shrimp from the Southeast, packets of herbs and salts and peppers from Girdwood, ground beef, wildflower honey, golden beets, garlic, potatoes, and my “moon” calories of course, fresh shrooms from the mushroom man!

Yes, it was expensive, I won’t lie. But was it worth it; totally. To add these market treasures to my own stock of blueberries, lingonberries, salmon, devil’s club buds (etc.) was incredibly refreshing, with an emphasis on the “fresh”. My frigid, dark winter dinner affairs scored a few extra points on taste, creativity, and source.

Everyone over there is great. The mushroom guy makes you want to try every kind of mushroom he has (all sautéed in butter of course). The meat guy can help you find just what you were looking for for that family dinner and even give tips on how to cook your cut. The produce folks have bins and bins of root veggies. And if you are lucky like I was, you might just find homemade tofu, seafood, Delta barley flour, and even natural bath and body products.

I highly suggest you check it out, get to know your food producers, and bring a little spice, color, flavor, or new ingredient into your New Year. Happy 2013 everyone, and as always, keep on building your own community one bite at a time!

The Center Market – as it is officially called – can be read about in more detail here- http://thecentermarket.com/. Open every Wednesday 11 am – 6 pm.

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Jennifer Kehoe

Jennifer Kehoe, Co-Founder

Jennifer's favorite things are her five senses, especially when it comes to food. Whether the smell of cardamom, the smooth whisking of batter, the vibrant colors of fresh veggies, the taste of a table red, or the sound of loved ones exclaiming about full bellies, these are her special moments. An east coast childhood made her a lover of all things seasonal (think apples, maple syrup, and foliage); as an Alaskan, she enjoys fall berry-picking, developing a winter fat layer, foraging for spring greens, and learning to fish under the summer sun. Talk to her about all things DIY, natural medicine, growing your own food, and traveling the world (to eat of course).