Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:53 PM on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Farmers' Market It's so much fun, you'll forget about time — and the sun

I got a sunburn last Saturday at the Homer Farmers' Market. Honestly, I want to warn everyone. These are the longest days of the year and you can get absorbed into the community of market happenings to the point where you end up spending hours there and forgetting the need for sunscreen.

Maybe you're there to get the first of those radishes so mild you can eat them like apples or maybe you're planning to get some of Gabe's fresh bagels. Watch out, you'll end up standing next to an old friend and chatting for an hour in the sun.

Last week the crowd and festival atmosphere around the marimba bands didn't dissipate until well after noon. With coffee, snacks and Fresh Catch Café offering delights right there, be careful. You may find yourself hanging out listening to this week's performer too long.

Do you see yourself as too responsible to get caught up like that? Don't fool yourself, no one is immune. It could be as simple as having an intellectual conversation with Dan and Luba about how much earlier their produce is coming in or maybe comparison shopping all the choices that can keep you standing in the sun too long.

Maybe you start asking Bob Durr about the unbelievable five acres of potatoes he has planted. Then you learn the differences of nine different varieties of potatoes in that five acres. Then, you start planning and pre-order your winter supply of potatoes.

Hopefully, with this warning, you will think about ducking into the shade of his booth.

And if you have kids you might really get stuck. By 11:30 a.m., the kids' activities have started and they'll never want to leave. Maybe it's the crafts or games or tending the garden beds or maybe it's the new sandbox that keeps their attention. Regardless, don't forget to put some sunscreen on them before they get engaged.

It is that sense of community that grabs you. It's engaging and addictive. You'll leave with a smile on your face, I'm sure, but just be careful not to overdo it.

Kyra Wagner is director of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers' Market's biggest fan.