A blast from the past at the Homer Farmers Market

The market has a history of very dedicated farmers

Am I the only person who had summer sneak up on them this year? Suddenly the traffic on the Spit is heavy and it’s impossible to turn left Pioneer or the Sterling. And, of course, the Homer Farmers Market is packed.

Folks were packing in to pack out as many of the sturdy starts they could to get their own gardens going. And they weren’t disappointed. There really is no one better to grow starts than somebody who makes their living off of the success of their starts. The familiar fresh greens and root cellar veggies didn’t disappoint either.

As the season kicks in again, it’s always fun to see the familiar faces and see who the new folks are. After 25 years now, the Farmers Market has seen quite a few changes. I was chatting at Christina’s booth when a blast from the past came through.

It was Charles Crampton. He used to sell flowers and vegetables over 10 years ago now. He had the most amazing dahlias. He reminisced about how he stayed up all night before his first Market, welding on his truck, building a rack for all of the flower baskets he would be selling.

Charles also grew some amazing tomatoes. Just huge. He was one of the first people in the area with a high tunnel. To make those tomatoes however, he needed heat in that high tunnel. People accused him of buying and reselling commercial tomatoes, but the reality was that he burned about 20 cords of wood over the season to make sure those tomatoes had the perfect climate.

There has been quite a history of very dedicated farmers at the Homer Farmers Market. Today really isn’t much different. Anna and Jake still work tirelessly every spring to tap the birches for the syrup they sell all summer. Marsha still puts away cases and cases of jam and jelly. The list goes on.

So head on down to Ocean Drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or next Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. and see what 25 years of history leads up to.

Kyra Wagner is the board president for the Homer Farmer’s Market.