The unseasonably hot weather of this Memorial Day weekend was appreciated by everyone down at the Homer Farmers Market. Somehow, going through the different booths asking questions, grabbing up vegetables, trying on jewelry or smelling new soaps is better done in the sun.
And growing obviously happens well in the sun. Even though this is only the first Farmers Market of the season, you could find all kinds of arugula, spinach, mustard greens, romaine, kale, radishes, herbs and sprouts for the perfect summer salad or stir fry.
If growing your own garden is something that you prefer, the variety of starts available at the Farmers Market included all of the regular starts such as tomatoes and cucumbers for the greenhouse or broccoli and cauliflower for the garden. There were also plenty of herbs and flowers whose job is simply to inspire you to get busy in the garden on these warm, sunny days.
But heat isn’t required for all things. Robert Heimbach’s booth was lined with vegetables that had come through the winter in his root cellar. Beets, cabbages, parsnips and celeriac all can spice up your summer cooking with the earthly goodness from winter.
Farmers do their best to guess what the demand will be and try to harvest the appropriate amount. Homer Hilltop Farm brought 175 bags of mixed lettuce to the Market, but they underestimated the demand. The sun brough everyone out to the Market. Everyone. They were sold out by 1 p.m.
And it goes both ways. Sometimes farmers have too much. That’s why root cellars come in handy, but that’s also why we have developed other ways to eat fruits and veggies. Those traditional methods come through at Wild Wellness Farm with their tasty ferments and krauts. You can also see the array of jams and jellies at Sweet Berries. Always keep an eye out for individual items amid the fresh veggies like the jars of roasted tomatoes and garlic at Synergy Gardens or the pickled carrots and carrot relish at Luba’s Garden.
So kick off your summer down at the Homer Farmers Market on Ocean Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays.