Homer Farmers Market: Customers drive local food options

At the Homer Farmers Market on Saturday I overheard one of the farmers telling a customer the secret to the Market’s success. She summed it up in one sentence.

“We wouldn’t be here if you didn’t come.”

The level of appreciation for the customer is a deep value for the vendors. And customers love the care and variety of what is available.

This week I was struck by all the colors. Sure, there was the lush shades of green of fresh broccoli, kale, onion, romaine and herbs, but there was also the crazy contrast of Luba’s Garden spinach and orache of bright green against deep purple. The colorful stems of rainbow chard at Twitter Creek Gardens that were mirrored in the Livingston daisy blooms at Snowshoe Hollow Farm booth.

Even if it’s just one thing, like garlic scapes at Synergy Gardens, you can do so many things with them. Maybe you always make garlic scape pesto, chop them into quinoa salad, or grill them, but the possibilities are as varied as your imagination.

The way for customers to get their hands on all this goodness is varied too. The Alaska Food Hub has grown so much this year that they are moving to the Homer United Methodist Church for customer pick-ups. Farm stands like RD Farms on Ocean Drive or Oceanside Farms out East End Road are brimming with variety. Anchor Point has a Farmers Market in front of the Cheeky Moose on Tuesdays (5-8 p.m.) and Thursdays (1-6 p.m.). You can even get micro greens at George’s Storage from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (call ahead to find out what’s available at 299-4462).

We also have a variety of customers. Some have been staying home since February, some are frustrated with all the rules and mandates. Sometimes it’s impossible to guess. One farmer had a young, healthy customer say that she needs to go to safe places to shop for the sake of her immunocompromised son. While some see masks and distancing as a violation of rights, others see it as the key to survival.

Appreciation for diversity is the key. Please be kind and eat good food. Your farmers thank you.

The Market is open on Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m., as well as Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. down on Ocean Drive.

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