Hunting season has begun. Hunting for local food. The Homer Farmers Market has officially “closed,” so if you associate vegetable gathering with halibut tacos from the Alibi, music on the stage and friends milling all around, then you are in for a letdown.
It’s time to be resourceful. Just like any hunter sharing secrets about the best locations, let me be the first to tell you about some of the local food hot spots after the Market closes.
First of all, there is, well, the Homer Farmers Market. I know, I just said it was closed, but the fact is that there are weeks left of veggie production so farmers will still show up on the regular Market days from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Wednesday. Bob Durr has at least two more weeks’ worth of those cute, sweet little acorn squash coming. Swiss chard will be coming this week, Brussel sprouts are just starting to get to a decent size. And we all know that Robert Heimbach will be there selling long after the snow flies, sitting out there with his burn barrel.
Here’s another hunting tip: The farmers who still have produce but are done with standing out in the cold will be selling on the Kenai Peninsula Food Hub and/or at the Wild Emporium. Get online on the Food Hub and order starting Friday for a Wednesday pick-up. Or wander into the Emporium to find your favorite vendors popping in there.
This is also the time to hunt down locally raised meat. Talk to Marsha Rouggly of Sweet Berries Jams about ordering beef, Blood Sweat and Food Farms has chicken, turkey, rabbit and pork, Oceanside Farm has chicken and turkeys. And I’m sure there are others you can track down.
The point is, even though the Market is officially over, we still have a lot of local food out there. Hunting it down still means healthier food, a stronger local economy, and a sustained system of food security.
So this fall you may need to go online, keep the Market grounds in your sites, or go stalking the local veggie at the Wild Emporium, but supporting the hard work of our local farmers is worth it.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.