There is certainly no better way to kick off a Memorial Day weekend than with a bustling Homer Farmers’ Market. Last weekend was a stunning example of what the possibilities are for the first market of the year.
I can’t count how many people asked me before the market started, “Will there be any produce available?”
It has been a cold year, after all, so what could be growing?
But the vivid colors throughout the stalls at the market made it quite apparent that the cold has not stopped our producers from bringing their best.
Buckets and bins and bags were filled with succulent lettuce mixes, arugula, Swiss chard, nettles and Asian greens. Even items that take a bit more time like onions, basil and radishes were available.
And don’t forget that the market gives coupons for Quest Card food purchases.
While you think about what to get for dinner, you can also try something new for lunch. There is a wave of healthy, live and cultured foods available — from traditional sauerkraut to mixes of vegetables like carrots and beets. There are more food vendors than ever bringing fresh recipes like halibut tacos and wood-fired pizza, as well as baked goods and fresh oysters.
But besides just selling you food, the market helps you grow your own. Some of the most beautiful and loved starts you can find are being sold at the Market. There is everything from cucumbers to tomatoes, fennel to cabbage, and house plants to herbs.
And the flowers, oh, the flowers are so bright and cheery after a long winter of gray.
You can get that broadfork for your new garden beds (a portion of these sales goes to school agriculture programs in Homer). You can load up on useful items for around the house from quilted potholders for the kitchen to ID tags for the dog.
And there isn’t a better place in town to get an eclectic gift that’s locally made.
So head on down to the Farmers’ Market on Ocean Drive on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to amaze yourself with the local possibilities.
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers’ Market’s biggest fan.