Jennifer Nu, Local Foods Director at Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, left, takes inventory of fresh grown greens being delivered by Jackie Ebert, of Nunatak Foods, with her son Oliver, to the Salt & Soil Marketplace location at the Arts & Culture Center on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. The nonprofit Salt and Soil Marketplace is staying open this winter and will offer a new Valley location to pick up Southeast-grown foods. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jennifer Nu, Local Foods Director at Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, left, takes inventory of fresh grown greens being delivered by Jackie Ebert, of Nunatak Foods, with her son Oliver, to the Salt & Soil Marketplace location at the Arts & Culture Center on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. The nonprofit Salt and Soil Marketplace is staying open this winter and will offer a new Valley location to pick up Southeast-grown foods. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Online farmers market keeps going through winter

There’s supply and demand to stay in business out of growing season

It may be too cold for outdoor gardening, but that doesn’t stop local food producers.

In indoor farms, commercial kitchens and home workshops, small vendors from around Southeast are still producing enough greens, baked goods and seafood to keep pantries stocked all winter.

They’ll now have one more place to sell them. Online farmers market Salt and Soil Marketplace will stay open for its first winter. A new Mendenhall Valley pickup location and home delivery service are helping keep the direct-to-consumer market open when the mercury drops, said Communications Coordinator Lea Skaggs.

The market opened just last year, but closed for the winter. So many vendors have joined, especially lettuce and microgreen growers, the marketplace has stock to keep services going.

“We have tons and tons of greens, pretty much coming out of our ears,” Skaggs said.

[Online farmer’s market growing in second year]

It works like this: Market customers place orders online. Vendors deliver their goods to Salt and Soil, which sorts them and holds hours at three different locations for customers to pick up their orders. (They also deliver, Skaggs said, for a $5 fee).

Fish, tea, bake-at-home treats, kelp pickles, locally-roasted coffee and microgreens — the options don’t peter out in the cold months, Skaggs said.

Salt and Soil’s ability to keep offering greens is a cornerstone. Nunatak Foods is one of a handful of local green growers helping do so.

The business, which local woman Jackie Ebert started last year with her husband Pat Dryer, is one of the biggest purveyors of greens at Salt and Soil, Skaggs said.

On Thursday at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, Ebert dropped off some butter leaf lettuce and assorted greens. That will get sorted by volunteers and Jennifer Nu, Local Foods Director with Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, which runs Salt and Soil.

Holding her son Oliver, Ebert said she’s excited to keep doing business through the winter.

“I think it’s great for the community to still be able to purchase local products,” Ebert said.

Between Salt and Soil and Panhandle Produce, which is both a vendor and its own business, Ebert said it’s “really cool just to see the scene starting to take off.”

The marketplace’s overriding goal is to increase local food sustainability and boost the economy, Nu said.

Baker Eric Oravsky likes the mission, he said after stopping by the JACC to drop off some of his bake-at-home croissants. He worked as a baker around the world before starting dough manufacturer Alaska Bakehouse last fall.

He said he enjoys the sense of community the market instills. He does a lot of wholesale distributing, which accounts for most of his revenue, but selling through the marketplace means he gets to have more of a personal connection with his customers.

Encouraging a connection between food producers and consumers is important to him.

“There’s a lot of focus on having food here. We have a tremendous growing area, a tremendous bounty of food in the area,” Oravsky said.

Salt and Soil’s new location is at Hooked Seafoods, on Industrial Boulevard. Panhandle Produce in Lemon Creek and the JACC are the two other locations.


• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 and kgullufsen@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinGullufsen.


Eric Oravsky, owner of Alaska Bakehouse, talks about the Salt & Soil Marketplace as he delivers croissants and other cook-at-home baked goods to the Marketplace’s downtown location at the Arts & Culture Center on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Eric Oravsky, owner of Alaska Bakehouse, talks about the Salt & Soil Marketplace as he delivers croissants and other cook-at-home baked goods to the Marketplace’s downtown location at the Arts & Culture Center on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Sept. 25

Here’s what to expect this week.

Faith Rogers’ family, from left to right, James Rogers (father), Michelle Rogers (sister), Harmony Wentz (daughter), Maria Rogers (mother) and Mindy Voigt (friend) sit with Faith’s three dogs in their family home. Faith Rogers, 55, of Juneau was found dead along a popular trail on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Police are investigating the death as a homicide. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
‘It’s shocking’: Family hopes for answers after suspicious death of loved one

“She wanted to make things beautiful, to help make people beautiful…”

People work together to raise the Xa’Kooch story pole, which commemorates the Battle of the Inian Islands. (Shaelene Grace Moler / For the Capital City Weekly)
Resilient Peoples & Place: The Xa’Kooch story pole — one step toward a journey of healing

“This pole is for the Chookaneidi, but here among us, many clans are represented…”

A bracket fungus exudes guttation drops and a small fly appears to sip one of them.( Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Water drops on plants

Guttation drops contain not only water but also sugars, proteins, and probably minerals.

A chart shows what critics claim is poor financial performance by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, especially in subsidizing private industry projects intended to boost the state’s economy, during its 55-year existence. The chart is part of a report released Tuesday criticizing the agency. (MB Barker/LLC Erickson & Associates/EcoSystems LLC)
AIDEA’s fiscal performance fishy, critics say

Report presented by salmon industry advocates asserts state business subsidy agency cost public $10B

Police vehicles gather Wednesday evening near Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei, also known as ]]Brotherhood Bridge Trail, while investigating a homicide. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Police: Woman was walking dogs when she was killed

JPD said officers are working “around the clock” on the criminal investigation.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew-member observes a foreign vessel in the Bering Sea, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter on routine patrol in the Bering Sea came across the guided missile cruiser from the People's Republic of China, officials said Monday, Sept. 26.  (U.S. Coast Guard District 17 via AP)
Patrol spots Chinese, Russian naval ships off Alaska island

This wasn’t the first time Chinese naval ships have sailed near Alaska waters.

An Alaska judge has ruled that a state lawmaker affiliated with the Oath Keepers, Rep. David Eastman, shown in this February 2022 photo, may stay on the general election ballot in November even though he's likely ineligible to hold public office  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge ordered delaying certifying the result of the race until a trial scheduled for December.

Water rushes down Front Street, just a half block from the Bering Sea, in Nome, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok moved into the region. It was a massive storm system — big enough to cover the mainland U.S. from the Pacific Ocean to Nebraska and from Canada to Texas. It influenced weather systems as far away as California, where a rare late-summer storm dropped rain on the northern part of the state, offering a measure of relief to wildfire crews but also complicating fire suppression efforts because of mud and loosened earth. (AP Photo / Peggy Fagerstrom)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

ANCHORAGE — There’s been significant damage to some roads and homes in… Continue reading

Most Read