Peonies poppin’ on Pioneer

It’s July and the peonies on Pioneer Avenue are popping. Did you see those huge crimson buds on the corner by Cosmic Kitchen? Big fluffy blooms from WKFL Park all the way down to the Homer Council on the Arts.

Interestingly, the last two years were a bit of a disappointment for some peony growers. The peony worldwide usually blooms in early summer, but here it blooms in July and August so Alaskan peony growers have the corner on the flower market when no one else in the world has peonies.

Which is why warm winters and summers like the last couple of years didn’t actually help peony growers at all. Their peonies wanted to bloom closer to when the rest of the world was already filling the market. What a relief to see peonies blooming in July.

And what a relief it would be if that was the only complication that peony farmers faced.

But as we see on Pioneer, when peonies come on, they come on in droves. Now imagine that you have a field with a thousand or more of these precious plants laden with buds.

You need to train your field workers to know exactly how to identify that critical moment for each variety of peony. The field workers will need to know how to cut and quickly cool each stem to preserve it in bud stage for shipping worldwide so it is ready to open beautifully at the flower shop or wedding it is destined for.

Wait, what field workers?

Yes, this is where we need tons of workers skilled in the art of peony cutting. Since that doesn’t exist, it becomes the challenge of each peony grower to find help. (If you are looking for a summer stint in a peony field, contact Homer Soil and Water at 235-8177. ext. 5)

Luckily for the rest of us, surplus peonies are sold here locally. One of the best local outlets will be the Homer Farmers Market out on Ocean Drive Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesdays from 2-5 pm. Get ready to start loading your house with the aroma and color of these local delights.

Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read