Pumpkins already getting ripe on the vine

This season is moving fast. Summer always does, but never like this. There are already beans and peas and, yes, pumpkins down at the Homer Farmers Market.

Our early season caught Bob Durr by surprise. He planted hundreds of pumpkins this year figuring that they would be ready for decorating for Halloween, but they are already getting ripe on the vine. Between the pumpkins and butternut squash he planted in three greenhouses, he has more than 1,000 plants producing like they are growing in California.

He is not afraid to try new things and he is not afraid of lots of work to see it all come to fruition.

He admits, “I’m just a crazy farmer.”

But when you can get pumpkins in July all that craziness pays off. If you are on the Farmers Market newsletter list you will see all the veggies available each week from all of our “crazy” farmers. Their planning and dedication on top of the warm weather is bringing in broccoli, fennel, tomatoes, zucchinis and bags of basil.

Making a pumpkin pie to go along with that meal you make out of all those veggies (I’m thinking Italian) certainly could become the hallmark of summer. And of course the fresh herbs available right now could spice up any recipe and the flowers and bouquets could decorate any table.

While planning for what you can bring home from the Market is half the fun, the other half is actually going there. This coming weekend you will get to enjoy the strings of the old timey Spit City Slickers for music along with Chef at the Market demonstration and the Kid’s Activities.

If you happen to have a zucchini growing, let me give you fair warning that on Aug. 13 the Market will be celebrating the Annual Zucchini Festival. Plan ahead. Don’t pick that big zuke and give it a couple more weeks to become the monster zucchini racer that your kids could roll across the finish line for the win.

So head on down to the Market on Ocean Drive from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesdays to see what your “crazy farmers” have grown for you.

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

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