Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 6:11 PM on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Farmers' Market Keep your eyes open so you won't miss any surprises


This town is always full of surprises. You never know what you will find. The beauty of our mountains is easy to see, but other treasurers are much more subtle.

Just pay attention when you are meandering through the aisles of the Homer Farmers' Market and you are guaranteed to be inundated with them.

Sometimes it takes guests from out of town to see this. Our most recent guests were stunned that anything besides tundra grows in Alaska. The familiar vegetables lining the booths were a surprise.

To those of us who live here and have become used to the summer vegetables, we look more closely for treasures. For instance, rumor has it that the carrots are starting to come in and if you get there at 10 a.m. sharp you just might get some of these sweet, coveted jewels before they sell out this weekend.

Other assets that pop up are surprising because of the randomness. Who would think to look at the Market for charcoal for that summer barbecue? The treasure hunter with keen eyes will find locally produced Alaska Charcoal Co. bags for sale at Bob Durr's booth. Since this alder charcoal burns hotter than briquettes and needs no lighter fluid, the all-natural outdoor chef will cherish this prize.

Some subtleties can only be picked up from the vendors' perspective. One gem I heard recently was regarding customers bringing their own bags to the Market more often these days. The significance of this runs deep. For Jen it meant that she only had to buy one box of bags instead of three like she has in past years. That's the financial view, but it also highlights the fact that one of our greatest assets in our community is caring, thoughtful people. You can't buy that at any price.

Treasures abound at the Market. Whether it is as obvious as the golden coin you get when you swipe your debit card or as subtle as the unexpected encounter with a friend, come down to Ocean Drive from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday or 3-6 p.m. Wednesday to find your own riches.

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