“I bet you don’t have dandelions booming at your place yet, do you?”
It’s a cold spring indeed and so it was not surprising to hear Robert Heimbach and Paul Castellani having this bit of conversation.
Those cheery and annoying weeds are our most exuberant signs of spring, the first big pollen source for bees after the pussy willows come out. And both Robert and Paul live in zones still too cold for those signs to show.
But did you see their booths at the Market on opening weekend?
You would never tell that they were suffering from cold by all the onions and gigantic bok choy, the bags of lettuces, mustard greens, baby turnip and beet greens.
I live on the Homer bench, where the dandelions are blooming, and I don’t have a garden with that level of production. It’s enough to make home gardeners throw their hands up in the air and just plant flowers to look at from their dining room as they eat from the abundance of our local farmers instead.
Then add to that the huge variety of herbs available. Your dinner just got more savory. Then add the farmers who have root cellars — like Bob Durr and Robert — and you will be able to add some hardy potatoes and beets from the Market as well.
Wait a minute. Don’t give up. There still is a place for home gardening. Let those talented farmers at the Homer Farmers Market be an inspiration to you. They are there to support you, too.
You may not be able to keep up with them in regards to veggie production at this time of the year, but as they awaken your taste buds for that spring freshness and vitality, they also have starts of all kinds for your garden and greenhouse. If they are growing it to sell to you, chances are they know it will do well here in our climate.
So head on down to the Market this Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. out on Ocean Drive and get inspired.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.