Under clouds and rainfall on Saturday, dozens milled about at Soldotna Creek Park, purchasing freshly grown items from local farmers and producers.
The Harvest Moon Local Food Festival is “the Kenai Peninsula’s biggest one-day farmers market and local food celebration,” a release from organizers Kenai Local Food Connection said.
Dozens of local groups were represented, tables piled high with fruits, vegetables, flowers and jars. Live music rang out from the park’s main stage, and professionals fielded questions, showed off techniques and passed around samples from two special show tents.
Around noon, Andrew Agosti showed a crowd how to make carrot gnocchi, garnished with sage butter for a “fall taste.”
He showed how to cut up and boil carrots, then produced a vibrant orange bag of puree. The pureed carrots were mixed with flour and egg, he said, to make a paste. From a small hole in the corner of a zip-lock bag, Agosti piped the carrot paste into boiling water, using a knife to separate the material into bite-size pieces.
Within minutes, Agosti scooped out the then-floating gnocchi pieces. He quickly tossed them in a skillet with sage butter, and soon the crowd enjoyed the resulting dish.
Beyond purchasing produce and sampling from demo tents, many booths were selling food, and a familiar stable of food trucks and vendors featured several special options made from local produce like that on display at the festival.
The Harvest Moon Local Food Festival is held annually toward the end of the summer. For more information, visit facebook.com/KenaiLocalFood.