It’s boomtime for Alaska blooms at local farmers markets

25
It’s boomtime for Alaska blooms at local farmers markets

Rob Wells grows and sells dahlias and dahlia tubers from his Palmer-area farm. One of the many varieties on dahlias Wells grows is the Alfred C dahlia photographed in one of his greenhouses on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (Bob Hallinen / ADN) If you’re looking to add a spot of color amid the gray, flower vendors at the local farmers markets might have the perfect bouquet for you. Or maybe it’s just a stem or two? At the Anchorage Farmers Market, choose from a variety of flowers at the Brown Dog, Persistent Farmer and Arctic Organics booths. “Our market will be bursting with flowers this weekend,” says Ben Swimm, co-owner of Brown Dog Farm in Palmer. “Our stand is right next to the Persistent Farmer, whose dahlias are starting to come in strong. We sell bouquets of a variety of annuals including snap dragons, stock, sweet peas, calendula, sunflowers, dianthus, poppies, phlox and more! “It’s booming, and folks can find all the local flowers they need.” Rob Wells, the Persistent Farmer, says the dahlia bloom is a little late this year because of a cool spring, but it is harvest time. “We have begun to harvest the first dozens of stems that will soon be hundreds in a multitude of colors and sizes,” Wells says. “The red blooms are the first, but we are now getting oranges, pinks, yellows and purples. Last week, I had two 10-inch yellow Kelvin Floodlight dinnerplate (dahlias) and expect to have a few of other varieties soon. Sarah Bean of Arctic Organics is quick to admit that Wells and Skimm have the true flower power at the market, but Bean says they have a seection too. “Brown Dog and Persistent Farmer are more serious about their flowers, but our niche is that we sell by the stem, so people can assemble their own bunch,” Bean says. “Many will get a few stems from us to go with a bunch they buy at one of the other stands.” All three vendors — Brown Dog Farm, Persistent Farmer and Arctic Organics —also have plenty of produce available this week too. Brown Dog will have salad greens, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, beets, radishes, chard and herbs. Wells has a large supply of cucumbers, perfect for making bread and butter pickles. Bean says the recent rains have been a blessing. “We are thanking the sky for the rain that is finally quenching our fields,” she says. “We look forward to the results of the rain soon, in the form of beets, carrots and potatoes.” New this week from Arctic Organics is green and red cabbage, sugar snap peas, fennel and tomatoes. Bean says they’ll also have zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, Easter Egg radishes, kohlrabi, rhubarb, Chinese cabbage and scallions, along with plenty of greens and herbs. “We’re averaging more than 40 vendors per week now as the midsummer harvest season heats up,” Jerrianne Lowther says. So, there are lots of options, including carrots, cauliflower, beets, potatoes and tomatoes from […]