This is the time of abundance. I was just talking to my neighbor about an experiment she did with rhubarb butter where she added watermelon berries instead of water. There is so much fruit coming on right now, why not take advantage of it?
The Homer Farmers Market is no different. Zucchinis abound — tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and potatoes as well. Greens and herbs of all kinds for the perfect salad. There’s so much going right now they’re almost isn’t time to pick it all. Jen from WillGrow admitted that she brought 50 heads of celery to sell but could have sold 70 if she had more time to harvest in the morning.
The great thing about the abundance of this time of year is the creativity that it encourages. Like adding watermelon berries to your rhubarb butter, why not add some jalapenos from Wilderness Greenhouse to your tomato sauce? It’s all available now. How much can you make by replacing normal ingredients with local ingredients?
You may have seen the display at Save U More for the Alaska Barley products: flour, couscous, and cream of barley cereal. Alaska Grown grains are a huge step in making us that much closer to having meals that are truly all Alaskan. Imagine barley pancakes with fresh raspberries and birch syrup or a barley quiche crust filled with farm fresh eggs and local broccoli, spinach and garlic.
At the Market I love seeing all the different combos that the different vendors come up with, too. The new ice cream vendor, for example, “Dulce Luca,” was inspired by Anna and Jake’s birch syrup (delicious), but also Robert Heimbach’s Thai basil (quite tasty) and even the sage (mixed with brown butter and vanilla, this was to die for). These creative combos may not sound like flavors you would have imagined for ice cream, but just try them and you will be hooked.
So get creative when you head on down to the Homer Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays or 2-5 p.m. Wednesdays and see what combinations tantalize you as you get closer to the 100 percent local meal.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.