KYRA WAGNER

Homer agriculture still evolving

Agriculture in Homer has been evolving over the years. Before Alaska was a state, Alvin Mattox was running his cows down on the Beluga Flats (think Mattox Street), but when the dam was built to create Beluga Lake he moved to where Kachemak Selo is now so he could continue to run his cows on the mineral-rich grasses of the tidal flats.

Bike Bucks? Ride for food to Homer Farmers Market

The Homer Farmers Market is in the perfect location.

Very few markets have the good fortune of a permanent location so that tents and infrastructure can stay up all summer.

That means that instead of just a pop-up tent village, our Market booths are more permanent, hand built, and full of personality.

I’ll just say it: we have a cute Farmers Market.

Producers and co-producers: a sympiotic relationship

Even on a rainy day like last Saturday, the Homer Farmers Market is packed. It is filled with what are known as “co-producers.”

To understand what a co-producer is, we need to think about producers. They are the dedicated individuals who show up every week and stand in their booth (smiling or grumbling, depending on personality) chatting with Market patrons. They have been planning all week for this day, scheduling out harvest times and sequential plantings, noting quantities and quality of the different varieties of veggies they will be bringing.

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.

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