Homer Farmers Market: Market survived ‘time warp’ of COVID-19

An unusual time warp happened during the last few years of COVID-19. People from all walks of life refer to it: how time seemed to have been suspended, how we haven’t seen certain friends or family for months or years. There are certain aspects of life that have been put on hold while others have continued under the radar. Children grow, jobs change, and relationships develop whether we keep up with them or not.

Change is inevitable, but there are touch points that help us keep our life clock set — like the Homer Farmers Market.

Farmers are a reliable crowd. Every year they will start their season growing food, whether there is a pandemic or not. As restaurants closed, people stopped eating out, the supply chains collapsed and shifted, and shelves at grocery stores started showing up bare, farmers simply planted their crops.

Our local farmers don’t have long supply chains. Many were able to switch from restaurant sales to direct sales to consumers through on-farm sales, subscriptions or the Alaska Food Hub. And food continued to grow according to the seasons.

While market vendors show up weekly to show off their wares and vegetables, they are also sharing the changes in their lives. Christina from Snowshoe Hollow Farm had to re-introduce me to her son who used to run around the Farmers Market as a kid but who is now taller than me and entering his senior year. Scott Miller of Wooden Diamonds showed me how he shifted from carving wood to chiseling stone for his designs. Jen and Paul showed me photos of the new exotic animals that have started showing up at their remote little farm like domestic rabbits and chukars.

But so much of the change at the Market is simply in step with the season. Fritz Creek Fungi will be getting more kinds of mushrooms for harvest in the coming weeks. Meghan at Wild Wellness Farm is looking forward to her new batch of romaine.

So, head on down to see what is new and what has stayed the same at the Market on Ocean Drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesday from 2-5 p.m.

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