What an amazing kick-off to the Homer Farmers Market season! Even with rain coming down most of Saturday, the market was hopping. And with so many more vendors returning, it was much more like it used to be. COVID-19 has changed a lot of things for a lot of people, so it is interesting to see what this new normal looks like.
Each vendor has a story. Lori Jenkins of Synergy Gardens, for example, is selling more veggies through CSA subscriptions to customers than ever before. Last year when the restaurants stopped buying food and individuals started realizing how important a reliable local food source is, it was a logical transition.
Rick Steffan started selling veggies through the Alaska Food Hub as well, giving his customers an easy online option for getting access to his farm production. Jenni from Blood Sweat and Food Farm always has chicken for sale, either at the Market, on the Food Hub or as a delivered CSA subscription option, but now their farm has invested in a refrigerated truck and delivers to sites all the way to Anchorage.
More people are valuing our local food system in this new normal, and even vendors can appreciate being customers. Todd’s Udder Delights ice cream will have a mint variety added this week thanks to fresh mint he got from Colleen’s Arctic Rose Herbs booth. Claire stepped away from her Stone Art booth loaded with necklaces (each of which has its own story) to ask Jenni of Blood Sweat and Food Farm if she could buy a sheep.
But having the market more like it used to be is the best part of this new normal. As potter Maygen Lotscher put it, she was just so glad to be there and see all the familiar happy faces.
And I love to see what’s new as well, like the ferments from Wild Wellness Farm or the canned octopus and canned herring from Seafoods of Alaska.
So get connected to your local food system as well as your local maker economy down on Ocean Drive on Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.