Summer holds a special place in our hearts here at Wild Scoops—and although there are many reasons to love the season, there’s one that stands above the rest for us: local farmers markets! The South Anchorage Farmers Market was the first location where we ever sold our ice cream, and we just wrapped up our fourth year selling scoops and pints at this wonderful community gathering spot. This year, we also had a blast being part of the Airport Heights Farmers Market. We had the chance to collaborate with so many awesome Alaskan food producers at both of these markets! To celebrate a great 2018 Market Season, here’s a rundown of some of the lovely businesses we were proud to partner with this summer.
Far North Fungi
Key ingredient: chaga mushroom
Featured flavor: Chaga Chocolate Meringue
Far North Fungi is an urban mushroom farm located right here in Anchorage, Alaska. In addition to cultivating mushrooms, these fungi experts also forage for wild edibles, including the prized chaga. This delicacy grows on birch trees and is used to brew a tea-like beverage, which is reported to have medicinal benefits (as well as being tasty and fortifying). We used chaga collected by Far North Fungi along with dried shiitake mushrooms to create an intensely earthy ice cream, which we paired with homemade meringues and fudge to bring out its natural chocolate-y taste.
Alaska Seeds of Change
Key ingredient: many mint varieties: spearmint, peppermint, etc.
Featured flavor: Mint brownie
The mission of Alaska Seeds of Change is two-pronged: “Growing food, supporting youth.” They achieve both by offering education and training to young adults, who are then employed to run all aspects of the Seeds of Change hydroponic greenhouse. They are an awesome example of urban agriculture in action, and they also grow awesome herbs and produce year-round! We used their mint leaves to give our Mint Brownie ice cream that exhilarating zing that can only be achieved with garden-fresh ingredients.
Sun Circle Farm
Key ingredient: beets!
Featured flavor: Roasted Beet
The family-run and Palmer-based venture that is Sun Circle Farm got its start in 2011. Though it was founded on the principles of holistic and healthy farming, that commitment reached a new level last year when they became officially USDA Certified Organic! Among the abundant veggies that Sun Circle cultivates are beautiful beets. The classic Wild Scoops flavor Roasted Beet is made with these vibrantly-hued and richly sweet jewels of the earth.
Glacier Valley Farm
Key ingredient: zucchini
Featured flavor: Cardamom Zucchini Bread
Giant veggies are a hallmark of Alaskan produce, and the zucchinis grown by Glacier Valley Farm fit that category nicely. The green squash that this small Palmer farm raise are impressively large, but also tender and delicious. They work perfectly for the zucchini-walnut bread that we bake in the Wild Scoops Test Kitchen! When we add chunks of that comforting treat to our cardamom-spiced ice cream, then the magic really begins.
Rempel Family Farms
Key ingredient: pumpkins
Featured flavor: Pumpkin Gingerbread
The Rempel family has been farming in the Palmer area since they first came to Alaska in the 1940s. What began as a humble tomato-and-cucumber-growing operation just a few generations ago is today a farm cultivating over 100 varieties of vegetables! Among those diverse crops are sugar pumpkins, which we roast and puree to create the base for our Pumpkin Gingerbread ice cream. These late-harvest gourds are truly the symbol of autumn, and their warm taste makes us less reluctant to bid summer goodbye; after all, fall flavors certainly have their own charms!
Beach Tribe SodaWorks
Key ingredient: Jipping Ginger Beer
Featured flavor: Apple Cider Donut; also used in ginger beer floats!
When we realized that high-quality, Anchorage-made ginger beer was making its debut at the South Anchorage Farmers Market this summer, naturally ice cream floats were the first thing on our mind! The pairing of sharp, gingery fizziness with a creamy dollop of Wild Scoops was an ideal treat for those sunny summer Saturdays. And happily, our collaboration with Beach Tribe is extending past the market season—we’ve added their ginger beer concentrate to the spiced apple caramel we make for our Apple Cider Donut flavor.