This last weekend was crazy busy. Hundreds of people were in town touring farms. There was the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour here to witness our peony farmers first hand. There was the Homer Garden Club’s Gardeners Weekend tours and activities. And I got to be the tour guide for Lainie Kertesz, the western regional sales representative from Johnny’s Seeds.
Lainie was here to see what all this hub bub in Alaska is about. As a self-proclaimed agricultural cheerleader, I got to take her around to all kinds of farms for almost a week of show and tell.
She hit many of the big name farms. Donna Rae and Don at Oceanside Farm showed us everything from their chickens and bees to their hops and asparagus and their farm stand. Bob Durr showed us his field of high tunnels loaded with squash and pumpkins and beans and more and more and more. Dan and Luba showed us tidy rows labeled with different varieties of potatoes, beets, carrots, kale, herbs and more. Al Poindexter showed us his Anchor Point Greenhouses full of tomatoes and cucumbers and his roots cellar full of peonies, turnips and more.
And more. Lainie also toured Carey Restino’s Hilltop Farm with her greens, veggies and peonies (and more), Wayne and Lori Jenkins’ Synergy Gardens with their garlic, veggies and abundant compost (and more), Blood Sweat and Food Farm’s integrated veggies, pasture and farm animals (and more), Emily Garrity’s Twitter Creek Garden with rolling tunnels, greenhouse, and gardens full of all kinds of veggies from brassicas to peppers, and Rachel Lord’s Stems flower gardens and tunnels with more flower varieties than I could ever list.
By the time Lainie left, she had a new appreciation for our local agriculture. And I was simply glowing with pride and appreciation. We have amazingly dedicated and hardworking folks here feeding our community.
That’s what we do here. We grow our own and we support our growers. Take a tour yourself down at the Homer Farmers Market on Ocean Drive Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.