Farmers Market: Flower power good for our souls and our economy

I have heard flowers referred to as the crystals of the plant world. In the mineral kingdom, all elements of time and space, heat and pressure, material and moisture need to be just perfect for a crystal to grow in rock.  

So it is with flowers.

At the perfect time, with the right amount of heat and moisture, out pops the blooms that we can’t resist. Just like crystals, mystical qualities have been attributed to them all. Just think of the feeling you get when you receive a bouquet from a loved one.  It makes you feel so good it must be medicinal, right?

The hypnotic power of flowers even shows up in our economy. A recent study, “Building Food Security in Alaska,” showed that, “Indeed, the largest source of farm revenue is nursery crops and ornamentals.” That’s $13 million statewide for ornamentals versus $3.3 million for vegetables. Growing flowers for people to grow at home has always been a profitable business.

But not all of us can create that perfect condition for flowers in our busy lives, so luckily the cut flower trade is also a booming business. Fortunately we can get our flower fix provided locally.  Just pausing in front of Rachel Lord’s Alaska Stems booth at the Homer Farmers Market will be enough to bring a smile to your face.  No one can be grumpy around all those stunningly bright and colorful lilies.

Of course there is no better place to see evidence of flower power than in the peony craze. The realization that peonies are blooming here when they are not blooming anywhere else on the planet has created quite a niche market.

If you want to see what the craze is all about, just stand in front of Rita Jo’s Alaska Perfect Peonies booth. It’s impossible to stand there and not be flooded with the feeling of a warm hug with all those pillowy blossoms and fragrance filling your senses.

So head on down to the Market to feel the magic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Ocean Drive or next Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m.

Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan — or one of them.