If you head out to the Homer Farmers Market site this weekend, you will see those tents popping up, gravel spread out on the paths, stripes painted on the parking lot. Vendors are getting ready for market season to start on Saturday, May 27, of Memorial Day Weekend.
Many of us can’t wait. The Market is beloved for the jolly atmosphere and community connections it provides. But if you strip away all that you will see a core objective of local food promotion, of creating a supportive place for local producers to sell food and products, of giving customers a way to access that food.
You may have noticed that the Market season is not the only time nor the only place that this is happening. Much of the winter, completely out of the Farmers Market season, you could often see Robert Heimbach at the Market site selling from his root cellar. He makes sure that you never forget to support a farmer and eat your veggies.
The Market also tries to make sure that those who can’t afford it still get access to fresh, local food too. This winter the Market started a crowd funding page to get donations for the matching program for SNAP benefit recipients. This is just another way to make sure the poorest in our community can still eat real food. If you want to learn more, check out the webpage at goo.gl/oqnHQN.
Then there is the Kenai Peninsula Food Hub. KenaiFoodHub.org has created an online mode for producers to sell their products and for customers to buy veggies from the comfort of their home. The Food Hub opened in mid-April and has been selling a variety of meat, veggies, starts and other products already. This is a pilot project designed to give producers another option for reaching out to customers and to give customers a new, easy way to get veggies.
So check out the options for supporting the entire local food system and we’ll see you soon down on Ocean Drive at the first Homer Farmers Market of the year.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator for Sustainable Homer and one of the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fans.