Despite the hold that winter seems to be exerting on us this year, it is finally time again for the opening of the Homer Farmers’ Market.
Actually, Homer producers have been defying the cold for a couple of weeks now. Two weeks ago, Snowshoe Hollow Farm was down at the market site selling early greens and radishes and Alaska Stems cut flowers had tulips ready for Mother’s Day.
We are getting better and better at growing here on the southern Kenai Peninsula. There are more people growing more food of more varieties for more of the year. There are more produce vendors this year at the market; more vendors excited about selling more food.
And the enthusiasm around growing food isn’t just on Saturdays during the market. The farmers’ market used the turkey raffle earnings this year to supply a grant to fund innovative projects. The grant will be shared between a chicken coop for the Haven House and supplies for a new local seed growing project.
I have to shout out kudos to the whole community for taking part. With some plastic sheeting from Don Mullikin, the new seed company will be able to build hoop houses and will in turn be sharing a portion of the produce with needy families. Jules at Knitty Stash on Main Street is making a community garden for interested people who need land. The Homer Chamber of Commerce also has space that could house someone’s veggies.
Not everybody has land and supplies to offer. Organizations like Spit Spots and the Homer Foundation have helped the market’s VISTA volunteer with expenses. The VISTA is in turn helping organize informative meetings for producers, getting information about restaurant needs, and doing all she can to connect the dots in our local food system. It seems everyone wants to support this growing aspect of our community in any way they can.
Now it’s your turn. Head on down to Ocean Drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (pay attention to the new parking arrangement) and show your support for local production. If only all community responsibilities could be so fun …
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers’ Market’s biggest fan.