Best Bets

As we begin the slow and inevitable crawl toward fall, we are hurried along by Homer’s uncharacteristically warm spring and downright uncomfortably hot summer.

Vegetables we don’t normally see until middle to late August are already cropping up (get it?) at the Homer Farmers Market. The fireweed blanketing the ridges above Homer already seems to be nearing its last legs.

What’s a Betster to do when autumn rears its head earlier than expected? Break out the pumpkin and cinnamon-scented candles, perhaps? Go in search of an orange gourd or two for the front yard?

Certainly, capitalizing on the unseasonably early fruits, flowers and veggies is a must. Luckily, our local farmers are funneling all that good stuff right through the Homer Farmers Market and the Kenai Peninsula Food Hub.

If nothing else, at least get out there and see the sights of late summer before they’re gone altogether and we’re once again staring down the barrel of an Alaska winter.

And if nothing else, try out these Best Bets:

BEST BUSY BEE BET: Check out this week’s Thriving Thursday: Stoked Beekeeping Company Tour. Meet at SVT Health and Wellness today at 6 p.m. to leave for the tour. Join Anna to learn about the basics of beekeeping. This is a great chance to see a small-scale commercial hive site in action. You’ll learn about the different types of bees, hive components, hive maintenance and honey extraction. This trip is limited to 20 participants. Please sign up by calling 907-226-2228.

BEST BEACH BET: What better way to enjoy nature and have a mini adventure without even having to leave town than with guided tidepooling at Bishop’s Beach. Hosted by the Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center, this is an event in which you meet a refuge ranger at the Bishop’s Beach parking lot for a morning of exploring tidepools. Meet there at 9 a.m. on Friday. Bring rubber boots or waterproof shoes, rubber gloves and warm clothes.

BEST BEND IT OUT BET: Looking for a way to unwind in the midst of your busy summer? Look no further than the Restorative Yoga class at Many Rivers Yoga Studio. This class is at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Drop in classes cost $18 for one class, $49 for three classes or $85 for six classes.

BEST BOOKISH BET: You get two upcoming opportunities to meet and talk with author Pam Houston this coming week. The author of “Cowboys Are My Weakness,” a collection of short stories, will host a two-hour creative writing workshop from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Homer Public Library. Call 235-3180 to sign up. Then, at 6 p.m. later that day, Houston will host a reading from her new book, “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in High Country.” In a series of linked essays, Houston describes how she came to dedicate her life to a homestead in Colorado — and how she was, and continues to be shaped by the land, people, and animals there. The LA Times writes of her memoir: “Good writing can make you envious, no matter how foreign the terrain. Other times, you read a good memoir and find yourself wanting to track down the author and become friends. A third kind of book is so insightful and evocative, you shelve it beside other favorite and instructive titles. Deep Creek might just do all three.”

BEST NATURE’S BOUNTY BET: If you’re a planner, go ahead and jot this one down in your notebook for next week. The following Thriving Thursday (the one happening on aug. 8) will feature a tour Will Grow Farm owned by Paul and Jenny Castellani. Located a few miles south of Anchor Point, the farm is off grid and provides our beloved Farmers Market with 25-30 different vegetables each season. They also provide produce to local restaurants. Meet at SVT Health and Wellness at 6 p.m. for the tour.