Even on a rainy day like last Saturday, the Homer Farmers Market is packed. It is filled with what are known as “co-producers.”
To understand what a co-producer is, we need to think about producers. They are the dedicated individuals who show up every week and stand in their booth (smiling or grumbling, depending on personality) chatting with Market patrons. They have been planning all week for this day, scheduling out harvest times and sequential plantings, noting quantities and quality of the different varieties of veggies they will be bringing.
Knowing they are going to be there all day, they bring layers of clothing, almost always with long underwear because standing in the shade of the booth is cool even on sunny days. They all have their favorite brand of mosquito repellent for those hovering critters that will plague them when the breeze dies down.
Those are our producers
A co-producer is the person on the other side of the booth. They are the dedicated individuals who show up every week and visit the booths (smiling or grumbling, depending on personality) chatting with Market vendors. They have been planning all week for this day, hoping certain veggies will be available for certain dishes they want to make and excited to see what is new for them to get creative with. They catalog success stories from the week to share with the vendors.
Knowing they are going there no matter what the weather is, co-producers will have their rain gear ready as well as their shorts. They will pack their Market coins or Quest card, and they will bring items for friends whom they know they will see at the Market. They will get the kids ready and line up visiting friends or family so they can all get there in time to get the best options.
Those are our co-producers.
Producers need co-producers and visa versa. If seeing your favorite Market vendor is why you go to the Market, remember that you are why they come to the Market too. So head on down to Ocean Drive from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. to support our local co-producing food system.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.