Anchorage’s ever-evolving farmers markets

Vertical strawberry fields, and a sample of a ripe one. Thriving Green’s Frank Enstice serves the new Jewel Lake Farmers Market with microgreens like sunflower and pea shoots, green microgreen mixes with broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, arugula, red cabbage and giant mustard…..AND, he also grows strawberries. Thriving Greens is an urban farm, and Frank grows his produce right in his neighborhood. (Photo courtesy of Thriving Greens)

I remember my first lovely visit to a farmers’ market this year, back on June 22. I’d heard about a new one, Jewel Lake Farmers Market, serving southwest Anchorage at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church off Jewel Lake Road. What I found whet my appetite. I spent the rest of the day cruising the South market, the new Midtown market in the BP Building parking lot, the Spenard and Muldoon markets. We even trekked to the “Weekend Market at Centennial Park,” sometimes called the Hmong Market. Somehow with all that, I missed a very popular one, Anchorage Farmers Market in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot. We do indeed have riches when it comes to our open-air, summer markets.

Today’s Hometown Alaska draws from that first Saturday visit to the new Jewel Lake Farmers Market. As I cruised the booths, I met new vendors from Harvest Point Farms, Thriving Greens and I also dined on paella featuring fresh Alaska salmon over simmering Spanish rice. Yum!

Those three vendors (one new Valley farmer who changed careers to begin farming, one new urban farmer, and a budding paella chef) are all guests on today’s show. We’ll hear the story of how each found his way into farming and/or serving farmers markets.

For the longer perspective on local markets, we’ll also have as a guest Arthur Keyes, himself a farmer and a former director of agriculture for the state. He founded the South market, and the new Midtown market. He’s invested in bringing young people into farming through the sustainability of farmers markets. He says farmers can thrive when they connect to their customers.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome throughout the hour. Join us!

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

GUESTS:

  • Jay Mullen, paella chef, moving around to different farmers markets
  • Frank Enstice, Thriving Greens urban farmer, farming in Jewel Lake
  • Matt Hale, Harvest Point Farms on Point McKenzie, changed careers to farm
  • Arthur Keyes, farmer, former director of agriculture, founder of South and Midtown farmers markets

LINKS:

PARTICIPATE:

  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
  • LIVE: Monday, July 29, 2019 at 2:00 p.m
  • REPEAT: Monday, July 29, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.