Marking the last official Market of the season, this weekend is the traditional Harvest Meal down at the Homer Farmers Market.
At noon you will find huge pots of veggie soup created from local produce and potluck dishes from community members.
It amazes many visitors to Alaska that our Market can thrive through September and beyond. They obviously don’t know the homesteader strength of our vendors. If they just hung out with Marsha Rouggly of Sweet Berries Jams and Jellies for a day they would understand.
You probably recognize Marsha best with her jam samples at the entrance of the Market, but her colorful and tasty table doesn’t show her gritty side.
I know that any time I call her and ask what she is doing, I am just as likely to hear how she is making jam as I am to hear that she is butchering a bear or making homemade soap or stuffing caribou sausage.
Or butchering the moose that will be the meat donated for the Harvest Dinner soup.
Marsha has been with the Market since its second year and has been a huge part of its organization ever since. She also is donating the 25- to 30-pound turkey for the Market’s Turkey Raffle.
(In case you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, the drawing will be at the Harvest Dinner for your chance at this fully supplied Thanksgiving meal of local turkey, fixings and veggies.)
With her chickens and ducks and turkeys, milk cow and calf, goat (to keep the cow company), vegetable garden and 30-by-48-foot high tunnel crammed on to less than an acre and a half, there isn’t much room for berries.
No worries, Marsha is the queen of wild harvesting and goes all over the peninsula to get the better-than-organic wild berries for her jams. It’s no wonder she won’t settle for less than organic sugar to go with them.
Come on down to the Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, bring your favorite dessert to share, and celebrate another successful Market season with the most solid and dedicated people in our community.
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.