Nothing makes me more grateful for living in Alaska than August. My freezer is loaded up with fish and berries of all kinds.
Nothing makes me think of abundance more than a day in the berry patch. Then, there is the squash going nuts in the high tunnel. The basil and tomatoes overflow in the greenhouse.
That’s a lovely picture of paradise, but I must admit that there are some holes in my story. The fact is that some little critters got in and ate out the centers of all my broccoli. Every bit of it.
This is one of the hidden details about local food security. When growing your own, things can go wrong. The reason our local grocery stores are so reliable is that they have connections. If there is a drought in California, they can source their strawberries from Chile.
So we got broccoli from Christina at Snowshoe Hollow Farm this year. We could have gone to the store rather than the Market, but there is another reason we chose Christina.
Last year we had our own flock and more than enough eggs. That really feels like food security. You walk out back and dig around in a nest and suddenly you have breakfast. It’s all very gratifying. But that rosy story ended with a clever goshawk that took out every one of our chickens and ducks.
Christina bailed us out. We traded her all the organic feed we had for a weekly supply of eggs. It took us months and months to use up our credit with her. You could never have a relationship like that with a corporate grocery store.
Supporting local farmers goes beyond just buying a veggie now and then. Connect. Create a culture. Trade benefits. Learn from this week’s Chef at the Market demonstration on fun ways to make Market veggies last all year, and then announce your support around town with one of the new Market aprons or T-shirts.
Just head on down to the Market on Ocean Drive on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. or next Wednesday betwee 3 and 6 p.m. to see what part you can play in our local food culture.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and one of the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fans.