It’s all coming in. We now have cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli at the Homer Farmers Market regularly. Carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini. Potatoes have started coming in too. Herbs of all kinds, peonies too. I can’t even begin to list the varieties of cut flowers Rachel is assembling in her bouquets.
There was even a new vendor, Kachemak Bay Gardens, who just started selling at the Market after a few seasons of selling on the Alaska Food Hub online. Dave and Angie are a perfect example of our local market gardeners who have a diverse collection of veggies for sale and still manage to make artisan bread to sell as well.
It is so fun to watch the Market grow in this way. It is like watching a way of life grow. It is a way of life that is building a stronger community less dependent on a corporate food system. As people have started appreciating that artisan bread over Wonder Bread, we see other aspects show in our community food system, such as the live sourdough starter that you can get at the Love Farms booth.
I’ve seen the shift over the years in fermented and pickled veggies as well. Traditionally these were ways to preserve veggies without refrigeration, a must for a sustainable food system. But foods like sauerkraut and dill pickles became a mere garnish once the corporate food system canned and processed everything.
But now we are shifting back to growing our own food. When your cucumbers produce like crazy, you pickle them. When all of your cabbage gets harvested at once, you need to make some of it into sauerkraut. The great thing is that fresh sauerkraut is super food for your digestive flora and fauna, full of probiotics. Nowadays at the Market you will find not only pickles and sauerkraut, but also a variety of kimchi and even rhubarb pickles.
Last week’s Chef at the Market made an amazing pesto from carrot tops. What’s next?
So when you head to the Market Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or on Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m., get ready to see the latest development in our growing local food system.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.