Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 3:36 PM on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Farmers' Market Items include sea's bounty



By KYRA WAGNER
FOR THE HOMER NEWS

Homer residents tend to be over-achievers and our Homer Farmers' Market is no different. Unlike many markets, ours goes well beyond just veggies. Our producers don't just farm the soil, they farm the sea.

And, let me tell you, the sea here is plentiful.

The variety at the Seafoods of Alaska booth is astounding. Patrick and Dawn have Tanner, Dungeness, and king crab, fresh shrimp, black cod and even king salmon steaks. They also have some of the best smoked salmon jerky around. Their favorite source for this cold smoked salmon (cottonwood smoked for two weeks at 60 degrees) is Fred at the Tustumena Smokehouse because he doesn't use nitrates so you get the purest fish.

If shellfish are your thing, then the Market is definitely the place for you. Northern Lights Oysters are awaiting you every Saturday with the freshest Kachemak Bay oysters and even mussels. The mussels are only available at the beginning of the season so get them while you can in the three-pound bag (that is good for two people for dinner or appetizers for four people). Then there is the oyster punch card. When you buy 12 dozen oysters, you get your next dozen free.

Eric from Sunset Cove Oyster Farm will be supplying the Wednesday Markets with mussels and oysters, too. He is the ticket if the large oysters are your favorite. He also will be there on Saturdays with whole salmon. And, please, don't try taking your photo holding the fish like you caught it, that's cheating.

Even if you are a fisherman yourself and have all the seafood you can handle, head to the Market this Saturday. With the dipnetting season upon us, it's time to get your annual canner gauge test. (Pressure canners with weighted gauges do not need to be checked). The Cooperative Extension Service will be testing gauges, so bring your canner lid to the Market to help assure your home-canned fish is safely processed.

When you crave seafood, come down to the Homer Farmers' Market on Ocean Drive on Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Wednesday from 3-6 p.m.

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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