Summer is just about here, and that means farmers market season is upon us. Farmers markets are a great place to meet and mingle with locals and other visitors, pick up trinkets to take home with you and, most of all, taste locally grown, harvested or crafted treats. With an increased focus on organic food and technologies such as hydroponic farming, the popularity and prevalence of growing and eating local has soared in Alaska in the past few years. This is great news for all 49th state foodies! Here are some of our favorite markets around Alaska and the Yukon as well as some hot items to look out for when you’re there.
If you want it all, the downtown Anchorage Market & Festival is your one-stop shop for food vendors, shopping and veggies galore. This year’s opening weekend falls on this Mother’s Day weekend, and we can’t think of a better post-brunch activity with your number-one lady than strolling through a market perusing art, food, clothing, books, candles and more. If you head to this market, check out the fresh funnel cakes, Alaska salmon quesadillas and the locally grown potatoes and kale.
If produce is the name of your game, the Anchorage Farmers Market has got you covered. It’s smaller than the Anchorage Market & Festival and is the city’s only farmer-directed, nonprofit market. Its main mission is to improve the health of the entire community by producing fresh Alaska-grown food. That’s something we can certainly get behind! Here you can find greens, turnips, potatoes, herbs and plants to foster on your own including tomatoes, apple trees and hanging baskets.
In Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley Farmers Market takes place on Wednesdays and Sundays from May through September. You’ll find products featuring Alaska Grown, Made in Alaska and Silver Hand certifications – all great choices if you want to purchase something that supports an Alaska artist, craftsperson or farmer. Every other Wednesday in July, the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation hosts a program called “Chefs at the Market.” From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., local chefs show off their favorite ways to turn the homegrown produce into delicious, gourmet meals.
When you’re in the Yukon, pop by the Whitehorse Farmers Market, which takes place the second Sunday of each month and offers farm-fresh eggs, freshly baked goods, local honey and vegetables. The community event actually happens monthly all year long at the Whitehorse Civic Center, so this is one you might be able to catch no matter when your visit occurs!
For local goodness no matter where you’re traveling in the North, check out this extensive guide to Alaska’s farmers markets. From veggies to fresh meats to gorgeous art, you wont be leaving any of these empty handed!