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Sunshine helps Anchorage farmers’ markets flourish

By Shannon Ballard 10:28 AM July 6, 2014

The sun was shining bright Saturday in Anchorage, making it a perfect day to get outside and attend the local farmers’ markets.

Farming has always been in Kyla Dinkel’s roots. And the farmers’ market is where she has always spent her summers.

“We do nine markets a week as a family,” Dinkel said. “I have five brothers and a sister and we do it all ourselves. It’s a lot of work, but it’s where we sell everything.”

That’s the goal – sell it all. And growers have been cashing in on this season’s sunshine.

“This is the earliest we’ve ever had green beans,” she said. “So that’s pretty crazy to me and the zucchini started early. Usually, we’re lucky if we’re doing markets by mid-July and this is already our second week of doing them.”

It’s a big deal for the Dinkels who rely on the markets as their biggest source of income.

“Business has been a little rougher the last few years before the nice weather,” she said.

Dinkel is hoping for sunny days every weekend. She knows it helps bring more people out and more money in. But like River Bean, a farmer at the market across town, she knows not to count on weather.

“It’s hard to define a typical Alaska summer,” Bean said. “It’s a real good growing summer, but who knows what will come. Last week there was new snow on the mountains. And this week it’s hot and dry, so who knows? It’s anybody’s guess.”

There’s a lot more produce on the way from local farmers.

It’s impossible to know what the rest of the summer will bring for these farmers. They’re just hoping to do as well as they did last year.

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