We have passed a milestone at the Homer Farmers’ Market. We have cauliflower.
That may not seem like a big deal to many, but every Saturday I keep track of the seasonality of the veggies at the Market and cauliflower is a landmark.
It’s one of those crops that needs lots of time to develop. You plant it inside more than a month before the weather will allow it outside. You water it, baby it, set it outside carefully to get it used to the cool temperatures, then bring it back in so it won’t freeze. After you plant it you cover it with a blanket of floating row cover to keep it warm and protect it from the ravenous larvae know as root maggots.
Cauliflower also takes up a huge amount of room in a farmer’s garden. A two-to-three-foot-square zone will get dominated by one plant. And that one plant produces only one head. But if you are one of the dedicated farmers who plans to have the time and the space to sell cauliflower at the Market, it will fly off your table.
What gets me excited is that last year cauliflower didn’t start showing up until August. It seems like everything is just getting earlier and earlier every year.
There also were green beans. Cabbage. Zucchini. Peas. Doesn’t that sound like any market in the Lower 48? These long days of summer combined with the incredible warmth we’ve had and the talents of our local farmers makes for a lovely production list.
Of course the Market wouldn’t be the huge community event it is if it were just a list of veggies. Add to that mix the kids’ activities, the music, the food and all the amazing artisans, artists and craft vendors and you have an amazing event.
This week the Market is highlighting local chef Maura Brenin with a demonstration focusing on “Cooking with Kids.”
So head down to the Homer Farmers’ Market on Ocean Drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. and see what’s new.
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers’ Market’s biggest fan.