Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 6:54 PM on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Farmers' Market Nothing sums up Homer better than its market



By KYRA WAGNER
For the Homer News

Finally. This Saturday at 10 a.m. the Homer Farmers' Market opens with a cow bell ringing and then the first pounding notes on wood of the Shamwari Marimba band. A little eclectic, but isn't that just reflective of our cosmic hamlet?

There really isn't much that could sum up our community better than our market. Not only is it weirdly fun that we have so many African marimba bands in this town, most tourists are stunned that we can grow as much food as we do.

Even last Saturday there were some early farmers selling their produce. Two of the newest vendors, Donna Rae and Iceman, had Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, lettuce, beet greens, kale, bok choy, cilantro, micro greens, and some borage and strawberry starts lined up on their surfboard.

Wait, surfboard?

Why not? Surfing is one of those eclectic activities that Homerites have made their own, just like our marimbas and local food production.

And Homerites truly love their local food. I was at a fundraiser recently where they auctioned off two boxes of local summer veggies (including fresh corn, tomatoes and more) and the bidding went wild. The final bid was more than $200.

Homerites are indeed obsessed with local food. And it shows in our market. This year the market is expanding, so keep an eye out for the "West Wing" with new spaces for more vendors. There are more new produce vendors, and there will be more produce earlier.

But the market mixes more than just local produce. Besides the music and farm production there will be kids' activities, seafood, crafts, jellies and hot food. Food stamps can be spent and market tokens can be purchased. Not only will you get to see the familiar faces of your friends in the aisles, you will get to see all the dedicated farmers, creative artisans and other eclectic vendors that make our market, and our community, what it is.

So head down to Ocean Drive this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the first market of the year and find your place in the eclectic mix.

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

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