KYRA WAGNER

Local growers keep it fresh and affordable

I used to work in a small South American country for Peace Corps. I worked with a group of rural farmers who worked together to raise tomatoes commercially. 

Their carefully picked tomatoes were loaded onto a big market truck that they waved down as it went by on the road. The driver would pay them 2,000 guaranies and sell the tomatoes for 3,000 in the capital. Customers in the city would pay 4,000. Some entrepreneurs would then load up leftover tomatoes and drive them out to little stores in the countryside.

Farmers Market 80 different plants, veggies on opening day

By KYRA WAGNER

FOR THE HOMER NEWS

The Homer Farmers Market was bustling on opening day. The sun was shining, marimbas were playing and the booths were all full. The Homer Farmers Market is such an icon of this town that it may seem like it has been here forever. (For photos of opening day, see page 2.)

But how it has grown. I’m not necessarily talking about how it has a good 40 full booths practically every weekend through the summer or how full the parking lot is.

One way to improve health of community: connecting our youth to more adults

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

Do our conversations matter? Yes!

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

Role models can change a community

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

Can we make it so ‘all’ have loving, supportive network?

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

 

I usually don’t like using strong words like “always” and “never” and “everything” or “nothing,” but sometimes I just can’t help it.  Like right now.

Healthy you key to healthy community

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

Community resilience starts with you

Editor’s Note: MAPP,  Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, educational, environmental, mental, physical and spiritual health.  

 

Farmers Market Officially, it’s over, but there are still plenty of veggies

It’s not over. The Market is not done. Well, it may officially be over, but it’s not done.

The Homer Farmers Market only officially runs through September. That means that the majority of vendors are done selling there and all the entertainment and credit card machine and the Market logo stuff will all be gone.

But nature doesn’t pay attention to calendars. The fact is that there is still produce out there that hasn’t been sold. As it gets later and cooler, things stop growing so much, but they don’t just disappear because the Market ended.

Farmers Market

This is it. As predictable as fireweed fluff, it comes to this every year.  The last official day for the Homer Farmers Market is this Saturday.

This means several important things.  First of all, it means that this is your last chance to buy a raffle ticket for the turkey dinner of local fixing and trimming that the Market puts together each year to be delivered for Thanksgiving. Don’t miss that.

But it also means it will be the last Market with all the trimmings.

Farmers Market ‘Local’ tastes, looks and feels good—really good

The wind last Saturday took all the warmth the sun was providing right out of the air. You could tell what it was like standing in the shade of a booth at the Homer Farmers Market just by looking at Marsha Rouggly at her Sweet Berries Jam booth dressed in a scarf and full length down coat.

The cold has scared away the majority of our tourists, even some of the vendors. But this can be my favorite time down at the Market because it means that everything has distilled down to one word: local.

Farmers Market Here’s one of finest displays of Homer talent

Labor Day weekend is upon us and the chill in the air is right on time.  It is always at this time of the year that the mountains remind us of the fleeting character of summer with their termination dust. 

This weekend is definitely one of the best showcases for the Homer Farmers Market we may have all year.  Veggies are at peak production and the harvest is bringing in all the varieties you can think of. 

Farmers Market

Nothing makes me more grateful for living in Alaska than August.  My freezer is loaded up with fish and berries of all kinds.  

Nothing makes me think of abundance more than a day in the berry patch. Then, there is the squash going nuts in the high tunnel. The basil and tomatoes overflow in the greenhouse.

That’s a lovely picture of paradise, but I must admit that there are some holes in my story. The fact is that some little critters got in and ate out the centers of all my broccoli. Every bit of it.

Farmers Market Kombucha comes in flavors for all palates

There is always more to learn. I found this out after years of making kombucha at home and trying to explain to people how a scoby makes kombucha. 

The scoby is a culture, I would say. It ferments the sugar in the tea. You put that scoby in tea and in a week or two you will have kombucha. The scoby is actually a symbiotic culture of bacteria and something else. I always forget what the something else is.

Farmers Market Start new family food traditions with Alaska grown

What are the traditional dishes you cook that have been passed down through the generations? Are the majority of your meals coming from a long lineage of food culture, or are they mostly swayed by what was on sale or quick to make?

When I say “Italian food” or “Mexican food” a picture of very specific food comes up.  There are methods and ingredients that are connected to those foods that create a cultural outline. What identifies “Alaskan food”?

Farmers Market: Fritz Creek Fungi one of the new vendors this year

I had a dream last night that I was hunting mushrooms across Kachemak Bay. It was a great dream. The moment of finding that perfect specimen is both surprise and ingenuity, knowing where to look and when and knowing what to look for all wrapped up into the brief time that a mushroom is actually fruiting and available.

But that dream was totally fiction because actually I don’t know my mushrooms well enough to risk finding the right ones in the wild. Lucky for me, there is Darius Kleine.

Farmers Market Veggies now available on Wednesdays

It’s true, Wednesday Farmers Markets have started. 

Now you can get down there between 3 and 6 p.m. in the middle of the week and get a parking space. 

And veggies.  

But there are those in our community who don’t get good food even if they get a parking space. Economics can be a big reason for someone to drive right by the Market.  The truth is that it is much cheaper to buy processed, nutrition-less cardboard food than it is fresh food. 

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