Perils of Winter: Frozen Fresh Product

Yes that is ice on the veggies!

We’ve been getting shipments of fresh organic fruits and vegetables from Full Circle Farm the last few months, resuming service after over a year. We stopped service previously after helping to bring Full Circle Farm shipments to Tok with others in the community including the tireless efforts of Francine at the Tok General Store because the shipments in winter were arriving frozen. The truck (from an Alaskan shipping company) that brought the boxes of fresh produce to Tok from Anchorage where they are flown in from Washington State didn’t realize the devastating affect of Interior winters on the contents in the boxes.

We resumed recently when we heard that the truck drivers learned their lesson finally after much spoiled produce and were putting the boxes in their cab. All was well and earlier this winter, we had a few great deliveries, savoring the fresh and diverse offerings. But now, for a second box in a row, we are getting produce that is frozen solid including tomatoes, tangerines, apples, pears, mushrooms, carrots, beets, kiwi and potatoes. The boxes are in the back of the trucks again.

The vegetables will fare better upon thawing than the fruit which will turn to a semi liquified state (applesauce and pear sauce may be in order before they competely spoil). The shelf-life of the veggies thawed, however, will be just a few days.

While Full Circle Farm has a 100% satisfaction guarantee which is greatly appreciated, it is discouraging to get half-edible but great looking produce at a time in the year that every little bit of “sunshine” counts. Well, you do what you can do and get what you can get in these parts.

I’m off to sautee some frozen rainbow chard.

Got produce?

Tok Alaska Farmers Market

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Farmers Market, Flea Market in Tok?

I know people think Tok is really small, too small for much of anything of interest. How wrong they are. But one thing that Tok doesn’t have is a flea market or farmers market, and I’m thinking that might be a good thing to have, don’t you?

Just got back from Denver where my friend’s neighborhood association puts together a weekly farmers market during the summer months. That’s right – NEIGHBORHOOD. I can’t imagine her neighborhood has more people than Tok’s population, even if it is a Denver neighborhood.

The market featured a few fresh produce stands but consisted mostly of local businesses selling their wares. There were several bakeries, a winery (Bonacquisti Wines trucks in grapes from Grand Junction area – I tried their Syrah Grenache, and it was tasty), several homemade soap makers, special vinegars, a jam maker, eco products, a massage therapist giving free 10 minute sessions, a coloring station for kids, a jewelry maker, and a Thai restaurant stand.

Highland Farmer’s Market…

Highland Farmers Market

Jams at the Highland Farmers Market

Bonacquisti Wines Denver

Watermelon

Why can’t Tok have something like this? Folks could sell eggs, jams, baked goods, used books, excess from abundant vegetable gardens, essential oils, crafts, art. Local folks could play music. I know Delta Junction has one, but that’s quite a drive when we don’t have to leave here to get the same kind of thing.

The Big Orange Truck with California fruits and veggies will be here one more time this month. Wouldn’t it be fun to have everyone with something to sell set up their own tables and turn the lot next to the Husky into an impromptu marketplace? We’ve got so many sugar and snow snap peas and a ton of rhubarb that is still good. Heck, I could get really ambitious and make some rhubarb crisps. And we have several boxes of books we could sell or trade.

What do you think of a little flea/farmers market in Tok? Would you participate, and if so, what would you offer?

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