I had the joyous opportunity to go berry picking this weekend with some new friends who just moved to town. It is always invigorating to see my world through the appreciative eyes of people who are still mesmerized by all the aspects of beauty of this place, still excited about all the possibilities.
It makes me realize that I have been here long enough to take certain things for granted. I was reminded of how lovable community gems like Fritz Creek General Store are or how lucky we are to have all the outdoor options for kids. How easy it can be to nestle into this sense of community even while struggling with building a place and living off the grid.
But one of the coolest things was to see the values that had brought them here: an appreciation for the wild, living closer to the land, bringing their kids up in a more hands-on environment. Hunting, fishing and wild harvesting opportunities were high on the list.
So it made my heart swell a bit when Caitlin and Barb started talking about the Alaska Food Hub. Caitlin was explaining to Barb that it works like an online farmers market, an opportunity to connect directly with local food producers online. It was as if someone was sharing the secrets of their favorite hunting or berry-picking spot.
The Food Hub isn’t exactly a secret, but it certainly is a great way to fill your freezer, refrigerator or dinner plate with local produce to go with that moose or salmon. It really is another true way to expand the sustainability of a family’s food system, especially when growing your own isn’t matching up.
For myself, I simply don’t grow celery because of Paul Castellani. His sweet, huge clumps of celery are amazing. And they need to get harvested soon — he’s already experienced frost at his place. So keep an eye out at the Farmers Market and the Food Hub for deals you can’t resist.
Sign up for the Alaska Food Hub today or come on down to the Farmers Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. and complete your local harvest.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.