Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 1:34 PM on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Farmers' Market Kids get chance to sell; food stamps yield bonus $10

I think I need about five columns here to really get into the details of what is happening at the Homer Farmers' Market.

First of all, the big news is beets. Did you see the size of those beets at the last market? Grown in a high tunnel, of course. And beet greens galore.

I heard from a reputable mom of teenagers that beet green chips are preferred over kale chips because they lie flatter and can hold more of the salty/oily seasoning you put on them.

Oh, those are just details.

The real big news is that this coming weekend is the first Kids' Vending Day. The last weekend of every month at the Kids' Activities Booth the kids have the chance to sell their own homemade crafts or homegrown produce. To sell their wares, kids need to be there from 10-10:30 a.m. to set up.

Wait, there's bigger news.

Did you know that when folks spend their food stamps at the market they get a bonus $10 to spend? This means getting good food into the hands of those who have the least access to it. You could say it's a little food justice to balance the annoying fact that unhealthy processed food is cheaper than good, fresh food. You can even purchase starts with food stamps to grow your own food.

Speaking of starts, that reminds me of another bit of big news for gardeners: Vortex brewed, fresh compost tea.

OK, that may not have universal appeal, but for those of us who get excited about microbial life in soils, there is not much better. Since it's full of live cultures it has no shelf life and must be sold fresh. Now you can get it at the market from the Alaska Organics booth; USDA organic and OMRI certified.

No, actually, this is the big news everyone has been waiting for: Wednesday markets open July 4. Now you can visit the market on Ocean Drive twice a week, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. Don't miss out on all that's going on.

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