I take inventory of the kinds of veggies being sold at the Homer Farmers Market every week. This means that I walk around with a clip board and look official even though I am not doing a doggone thing to help organize or set up the Market.
But it does give me a chance to wander around to all the stalls and listen to what people are saying, see what vendors have, chat with everyone on the planet (it seems) and get a good idea of the pulse of the Market.
At this time of the year the pulse will be slowing down while getting stronger. There will be less shoppers because the tourist stream will be slowing down, but the veggies are at top production so the shoppers that continue to come will get the biggest of the summer.
This is the time of the year when locals are using the Market as the resource for their stocking up plans. A friend at the Market told me that she got a bunch of cucumbers in her CSA box of veggies, but not enough to make pickles. She had a bag of cucumbers she was buying to compile enough to give her grandmother’s pickle recipe another run.
Canned foods like our grandmother’s pickles echo that strong pulse of the Market. Familiar, comfortable, known. This way we keep our harvest with us like we keep our history. Treasured, remembered, honored.
According to my list of veggies, I can tell you that if pickles are your family heirloom, cucumbers are overflowing at the Market now along with garlic, dill and even horseradish (depending on your grandmother’s recipe).
Or maybe that age-old recipe you would strive to recreate is a tomato sauce laced with onions and herbs, garlic or other veggies. Tomatoes too seem to be in more abundance than I have ever seen.
Or maybe your family favorite is as simple as applesauce. Baskets of apples are now lining up at the Market as well.
So whatever canning dream you may have, head on down to the Market on Ocean Drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or for the last Wednesday Market from 2 to 6 p.m. for the best ingredients around.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator for Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.