Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 1:35 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Farmers' Market Intensity of summer's colors, flavors carry us through winter

For the Homer News

It's the first week of August and it's harvest time. You can see the colorful bounty yourself on the Homer Garden Club tours this weekend, as well as at the Homer Farmers' Market.

It's this intensity of summer that gets us through the winter. The beauty of all the colors, whether in the garden or wrapped up in bundles or flowing from a basket at a farmers' market booth, soaks into our minds to carry us through the winter's muted tones.

Sharing the flavors of fresh carrots, onions, beets and cucumbers motivate the summer potlucks that bring us together with the friends that we lose sight of during the busy-ness of summer. The new recipes we gather keep the winter meals colorful.

Down at the market it is hard to imagine that the crammed parking lot is ever empty. Luckily, the bounty coming from those booths will still last for at least two more months. The produce, food and gifts from the market mark a time of the year of sharing with friends, family and community.

This summer we know a lot of this food has gone to those in the community who need it most. More than $1,000 in food stamps have been spent at the market and food stamp recipients have received almost $600 in double value coupons to spend there as well. What a great way to make sure everyone gets a chance to share in the local harvest.

As the bustle down at the market this time of the year continues to increase, and since there is food served at the market, there needs to be a reminder to leave your four-legged friends at home. While you take care not to bring dogs into the market area, it also is important to remember to leave the bike lanes free of parked cars.

Once winter comes, you will have forgotten about the bustle and hurry and be pining away for those flavors and colors. So, make sure you get your fill of the market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and from 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays.

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