Homer agriculture still evolving

Agriculture in Homer has been evolving over the years. Before Alaska was a state, Alvin Mattox was running his cows down on the Beluga Flats (think Mattox Street), but when the dam was built to create Beluga Lake he moved to where Kachemak Selo is now so he could continue to run his cows on the mineral-rich grasses of the tidal flats.

In that same area today there is now one of my favorite producers at the Homer Farmers Market. When talking to a chef from Two Sisters Bakery this winter, he commented that Evfimia made sure they had local veggies. Who is this amazing woman who begrudgingly admits that there is one month out of the year that she doesn’t have anything green to sell?

Evfimia Reutov has a 30-by-72-foot high tunnel and a 15-by-20 greenhouse as well as outdoor gardens and a root cellar. She says she has tons of starts that she keeps warm in the house and is happy that she is now down to only 200 pounds of potatoes left. She has been in this place for 35 years.

But our agricultural scene is now on fire with many new arrivals. One example is Lori Jenkins and Synergy Gardens. Lori brought her excitement and expertise in gardening up from Georgia in 2012 when she and her husband bought five acres out East End Road. In that short time they have installed two high tunnels and cleared, plowed and planted fields full of veggies for restaurants and the Market.

And garlic. Garlic is Lori’s passion and Sunday, July 10, folks will get the chance to share that with her at the Great Garlic Scape Festival. Mixing garden tours, art, food, cooking and even yoga, this event will be fun for everyone. Register for your spot at the Festival with Lori at 706-273-0077.

And don’t miss Anna Frost as the Chef at the Market this Saturday demonstrating a rhubarb upside down cake.

Head on down to the Market on Ocean Drive to visit Evfimia, Lori, Anna and the other members of the local agriculture scene from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and from 2-6 p.m Wednesdays.

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