Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 3:53 PM on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Farmers' Market You, too, can join local food revolution

By Kyra Wagner
For the Homer News

For those of you who have been seeing snowflakes in the last week, you may find it hard to believe that the gardening season is upon us. You may find it even harder to believe that Homer is the epicenter for an amazing agricultural revolution taking place, but it's true.

First of all, this gardening season in Homer is kicking in with a punch greater than normal. The People's Garden Project is initiating more than 20 gardens at schools, churches and other organizations. That means gardens at work and school, gardens that teach, gardens that soothe, gardens all over the place to get everyone excited about growing our own food.

Then add the more than 250 families now able to produce crazy amounts of food for themselves and the community thanks to the success of the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service high tunnel program. It seems like a simple program to help producers get a hoop house up over part of their gardens to increase production and lengthen the season.

However, if you could see what people are producing in these tunnels with very little land and only a little investment you would realize that this is certainly an actual local food revolution.

Add to the mix that we are a community that likes to share. It is visible in the way gardeners have been sharing tips about gardening, sales and resources; how high tunnel program participants have been sharing on shipping or labor or information; and how producers have been sharing seedlings, starts and heirlooms. I have heard comments from around the state regarding Homer's networking pizazz, always tinged with jealousy.

This weekend presents the embodiment of all this over on the Homer Farmers' Market lot. This Saturday is the market set-up day where the members will be putting up their tents and preparing for the opening day on Memorial Day Weekend. But this Saturday some of those gung-ho farmers also will have starts for sale. So come down to the Farmers' Market on Ocean Drive to see what they have to offer so you also can join in the local food revolution.

Kyra Wagner is the director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers' Market's biggest fan. She can be reached at kyra@sustainablehomer.org.