Did you know that it would take 1.9 United States of Americas a year to develop enough resources for one United States of America?
We consume more than we produce. When we reach that point where we are consuming more than we produce or regenerate we have reached “Overshoot Day.” In 2003, Overshoot Day was on Sept. 22. This year it was on Aug. 20.
But somehow when I go down to the Homer Farmers’ Market, I get the feeling that we can buck that trend. I know farmers with thousands of plants still growing in their fields ready to produce food for our community. Not only is it noble, but they also do it with flare.
The exciting part at this time of the year (aside from the immense quantity) is the color and variety. You can tell that farmers, like Bob Durr, are having fun when they line their stalls with purple, white and lime-green cauliflower. Cookie has peppers ranging from green bell peppers to poblanos, anaheims and jalapenos. Sunrise even had some bell peppers that changed from purple to green to yellow to red.
Now also is the time of year when Dan and Luba are bringing in nine different types of potatoes. There are all kinds of colors to choose from: Magic Molly is solidly dark purple all the way through, then there are All-Blues, Cranberry Red, Yukon Golds, Russian Banana Fingerlings, and the Caribe. Some of these were even developed here in Alaska. Magic Molly, for instance, is named after the daughter of Bill Campbell, the renowned potato expert in Palmer.
Seeing what our producers are capable of makes me excited about where we are headed. Not only can we produce amazing food locally, we also have creative and inspired people doing it. This next week, Sept. 16-22, is Kenai Peninsula’s Local Foods Week and a chance to focus all your consumption on local production.
So, head on down to the Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. and see what joyful food and crafts you can find locally.
Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers’ Market’s biggest fan.