Why wouldn’t you grow your own berries?

This is the season for all kinds of Alaskan berries, but it is definitely the time for raspberries. Picking (and eating) in our garden the other day I realized that raspberries are the perfect food to showcase the state of our food system.

First of all, just like I wonder why everyone doesn’t grow as much of their own food as possible, I wonder why everyone doesn’t grow raspberries. I’m kind of an idealist in this area — I would love to see everyone’s food security handled at the local level so that no family is at the whim of economic fluctuations or market factors.

In the case of raspberries, they’re so easy. They take almost no tending and come back on their own every year. You don’t even need to weed them, just harvest their sweet goodness. Why wouldn’t you grow them?

Just like many foods in our food system, growing your own isn’t always possible. One of the reasons might be that your home is at an altitude where raspberries survive but they just don’t thrive. That is a perfect example of why the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS, high-tunnel cost-share program has become so popular in our region. High tunnels let us control our climate and therefore our food production.

But it is still quite easy to go down to Safeway and buy some raspberries right off the shelf. Sure, they may have been sprayed with chemicals or grown halfway around the world. Alhough you may not want to depend on that system, it is easy. And, as with so many aspects of our food system, we have inadvertently come to depend on it.

Which is why I smile when I see families sharing a dish of fresh raspberries at the Homer Farmers Market. Listening to music, talking to friends in the sun, supporting local farm businesses — that is the food system I want to see thriving.

So even if you do grow your own raspberries (cheers to you!), head on down to the Market on Ocean Drive from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and from 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays to support the part of our food system that is local, sustainable, and necessary.

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

More in News

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Homer City Council candidate Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Traffic moves north along the Sterling Highway shortly after a fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state is seeking federal funding for a project aimed at improving safety along the Sterling Highway between mileposts 82.5 to 94, or between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to federal funding for Sterling Highway project

The project is aimed at improving highway safety between Sterling and Soldotna.

Ethan Benton (left) and Laura Walters of Kodiak win the vaccine lottery for the Alaska Chamber's week one vaccine lottery giveaway "Give AK a Shot." (Screenshot)
State names winners in 1st vaccine lottery

A Valdez and Kodiak resident took home checks for $49,000 each.

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism.
Vandalism ends Soldotna library program

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

Juneau Empire file
The Coast Guard medevaced a 90-year-old suffering stroke-like symptoms near Ketchikan aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium like this one, seen in Juneau, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
Coast Guard medevacs man from yacht near Ketchikan

The 90-year-old suffered symptoms of a stroke.

James Varsos, also known as “Hobo Jim,” poses for a photo during the August 2016, Funny River Festival in Funny River, Alaska, in August 2016. (Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Hobo Jim’ opens up about recent terminal cancer diagnosis

Varsos was named Alaska’s official “state balladeer” in 1994.

Most Read