Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 1:40 PM on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Farmers' Market Saturday is time to celebrate big veggies

Mobile has the Alabama Pecan Festival. In Texas it's the Austin Bat Festival. This Saturday at the Homer Farmers' Market it's the Zucchini Festival.

This is an Alaska version of a veggie festival. Since one has to dedicate some serious time to growing veggies in this climate, this festival is about showing off those successes. There will be the Biggest Veggie Contest, of course; Alaskans love to brag about size.

Then there is engineering skill to brag about. The second Annual Zucchini Races may be a wee bit competitive, so it is recommended that you start working on your racer at home. If you haven't grown your own, you can always get one at the Wednesday Market from 3-6 p.m. so that you have plenty of time to create a speedster to remember. (Hint: The wheels are key.) There will be a workshop prior to the races to spiff your racer up a bit or tweek it into top performance and then the races start at 12:30 p.m.

All day there will be activities for everyone in the family. It's Kids' Vending Day so they can come at 10 a.m. and make a buck or two. There will be zucchini treats to try and recipes to share.

Quite honestly, this is a festival to celebrate place. The summers are short here and time gets away. The veggies get huge and then we frantically package up our summer bounty and then realize we haven't stopped running in weeks.

Take a breath. A day down at the market like this Saturday is a chance to bring the kids and let the whole family enjoy that feeling of community that can only be achieved when we share time and food together. Homer has a splendid reputation of being an active and caring little community at the end of the road. The Zucchini Festival is simply a reflection of that.

So, bring the kids, plan to meet friends, stay for lunch and don't forget your Zucchini Vehicle Extraordinaire (or at least your camera) down on Ocean Drive. If you'd like to get more involved, please contact VISTA volunteer Bronwynn Kelly (bronwynn@homerfarmersmarket.org).

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