Signs of fall are in the air. This is the time of the year when I start getting questions about how much longer the Homer Farmers Market will be going. I always love to point out that it will go through the month of September and then continue as long as our dedicated farmers are willing to keep coming.
September is where all the work of the summer is culminating in the fattest, ripest, sweetest veggies the summer has to offer. It’s the result of planning and staggering crops for those vendors who have been with us since May.
A fairly new face to this scene is Jon Kee. Many veggie vendors show up for a bit when they have peak production and then disappear as others take their place. Though this is only Jon’s second year at the Market selling veggies, his tidy stand has had well-stocked wooden display shelves all summer.
This did not happen by accident. Keeping a stocked stand all season long takes focus, planning and dedication. Jon and his wife Lynn have been focusing on this goal for some time. The first two years they were in Alaska they worked on Robert Heimbach’s farm and then on Paul and Jen Castellani’s farm.
As they stacked up local experience from some of our best local organic producers, they started working on their own place. They have built up 1,500 square feet of garden space outside with all the organic amendments like fishbone meal, greensand and rock phosphate. They use compost as well as sheet mulching to start new beds.
Add to that their 30-by-48-foot high tunnel that allows them to extend their growing and low tunnels for growing hot house crops like basil. Now add to this productive scene their adorable little daughter Mayzie playing in the dirt and eating these vibrant veggies and you can see why such a lifestyle is worth the dedication.
Come on down to the Homer Farmers Market on Ocean Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and meet the families that make it all happen.
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.