Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 2:07 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Farmers' Market It's not just about fresh veggies


Cheers, everyone. This is National Farmers' Market Week. Yes, the Homer Farmers' Market is always one of the most wonderful places to visit all summer long, but I imagine that this week was designated as the time to officially recognize markets around the country because now is when farmers' markets simply shine.

As of last week we have been seeing quite a variety of our big, wholesome veggies taking front stage. You can expect to see beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, fennel, peas, onions, pumpkins, squash and zucchinis.

And so much more it makes you run out of breath.

Surprisingly, farmers' markets aren't just being celebrated because they have great veggies. They also:

n Have occasions for community education (check out a nonprofit booth or one of the kids' activities),

n Promote good nutrition and healthy eating (OK, that is just the beautiful veggies talking),

n Function as an economic engine for new businesses, job development and local spending,

• Make sure healthy food gets to underserved community members,

n Increase community involvement,

n Prioritize our farmers, support agricultural diversity and inspire a new generation of producers.

Is there anything better than all that? Why yes, there is.

It's the Zucchini Festival coming up on the last Saturday this month. Make sure to track down your best zucchini to enter into the Second Annual Zucchini Races. It will take some preparation, some tactics, some serious decisions about what you will use for wheels. This is no small matter. This weekend there will be a model on display if you need some inspiration.

Are all markets as fun as ours?

I must be biased, but I didn't see "fun" listed on the national website with reasons to celebrate National Farmers' Market Week.

No matter if you think about all the big picture benefits of farmers' markets nationwide while you are heading down to the Homer Farmers' Market on Ocean Drive on Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. or Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., or if you are just scoping out zucchinis, or just having fun, you can know that you are supporting a great community hub.

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