Twenty years ago the Homer Farmers Market’s first day was in mid July. Now, they regularly open their doors Memorial Day weekend. But the calendar date isn’t the only thing that has changed.
The rule of thumb around here has always been that you can safely plant your crops on June 1. Now farmers are finding themselves trying to second-guess what the weather will do. Robert Heimbach planted things like carrots and leeks this year outside on April 2. He said they took the mid-April cold snap hard, but the ones he planted a couple weeks later fared better. He took a little risk planting so early, but he will get an early harvest reward.
And those were his outside crops. Add to this idea the fact that we now have high tunnels and can grow food from almost any climate, and you will change the way you eat. “Eating Local” doesn’t just mean cabbage and turnips; we have a huge variety of vegetables now. There’s only one reliable answer to these changes:
Put together a new cookbook.
To celebrate its 20th birthday, the Homer Farmers Market has done just that. You can get the new cookbook at the information booth where you swipe your credit card for market tokens. But even that is new.
Since this is a special year, you won’t get just any ordinary Market token. The market coins this year, minted at the Alaska mint, come in individual collectors cases. These one-of-a-kind coins are worth $20 at any Market booth, but they also are our first coin to have all Farmers Market original art on both sides and announcing the 20th anniversary.
Both the cookbook and the coin would make a great gift for anyone since they both keep on giving. One is for great ideas about food, and one is actual hard cash for purchasing that food. What could be better?
So head on down to the Homer Farmers Market on Ocean Drive on Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and see what 20th anniversary souvenir you can find.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.