A food hub and a community connection

This week, like many of us in Homer, I have had guests visiting from out of state. People bright-eyed and easily entertained with everything that we have here. Even the rain didn’t phase them. They came dressed for the most adverse weather possible.

And, of course, the Homer Farmers Market was one of their top destination choices. As we walked around in the rain, they were able to spy perfect gifts for Mom back home, original art, and a little bit of food and culture from Homer.

While East End Road neighbors have been reeling from the loss of the iconic Fritz Creek General Store, I am made all the more aware of the importance of these kinds of places that reflect the character of a place. Predictable, stable and welcoming places where people can connect. It’s not just about being a tourist destination, it’s about running into people you know and having a chance to talk. We were not designed to live this life alone.

Did you know that the CDC actually has classified loneliness as a measurable health risk now? Back in May, the Surgeon General released an advisory regarding the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection in our country. It affects our mental, physical and societal health. It can actually increase the risk of premature death to rates as detrimental as daily smoking.

So in this little town loaded with restaurants who proudly serve local food, producers who grow that food, and households with nets and fishing lures for our local catch, it seems appropriate that one of the best places to show off Homer to friends and family would be the Homer Farmers Market.

It’s part of our identity as a town that at least has appreciation for the need to feed ourselves, and for the inherent need for each other to meet that goal. We need to have these places for interacting with others as much as we need the food that we get there.

So head on down to the Farmers Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or this Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. for a connection to your community.