Homer Farmers Market: Alaska farming boom is a mini revolution

Every farmer digs into the soil, the skin of the earth. Every farmer is taking the laws of nature into their hands as they nurture plants and animals into growing. Every farmer uses the tools of nature (including things like sun and rain) to their advantage.

I don’t know about you, but I hear more about how humans are destroying the planet than nurturing it on a regular basis. I’m going to be honest: I don’t think guilt is a very healthy emotion to carry. I am perfectly willing to acknowledge mistakes, but I don’t like to dwell on it.

So you can imagine my excitement when I watched the trailer for the Homer Documentary Film Festival’s Gala Night movie, “The Biggest Little Farm.” Everyone knows how much I love our local farmers, but this looks to be an uplifting tribute to the farmer’s role in the big picture of how we can be a positive impact on the world, nurturing the soil and working with nature instead of against it.

No guilt. Just the dirt-under-your fingernails kind of fun.

Did you know that the number of small farms in Alaska has grown by 73% in the last five years? And when I say “small” farms, that means 1-9 acres. At the Homer Farmers Market, the majority of the food you see comes off of farms that are less than 1 acre. The Alaska farming boom is a tiny revolution.

And what a nurturing revolution indeed. In recent interviews of over 30 local farmers, all of them used organic methods of pest control and the vast majority of them only used organic inputs in their soils. Little tiny farm footprints, extremely varied production, and super healthy soils: Now that’s a good infrastructure for a local food system.

So get inspired this week by the nurturing nature of farming. You can see “The Biggest Little Farm” on Thursday at 6:15 (ticket includes a barbecue meal), 4 p.m. on Sunday and Tuesday, or 6 p.m. on Wednesday. And, as always, head on down to the Homer Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday or 2 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays to see what our nurturing farmers are producing.

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