Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 1:02 PM on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Farmers' Market:
$nbsp;$nbsp;$nbsp;$nbsp; Only the hardiest vendors remain; produce still plentiful

Wind and rain. A frantic email went out a couple of weeks ago to the vendors at the Homer Farmers' Market warning them that their tents may blow away. Some came down, some were removed, some put back up again. It's September at the market. Only the hardiest vendors remain.

The market traditionally runs for four months. The evolution from early greens and starts to huge heads of broccoli and stacks of onions happens in a rather short season. Each week is a little different.

In the blustery weather, with the lack of tourists pushing through the aisles, the market may appear more sparse. Nothing is further from the truth. September is the time of the year the producers have been building up for most of that short season. The proudest parsnips, potatoes and tomatoes won't often hit the market until September.

The market always has a Harvest Party on the last weekend of September to thank the community for its support. This will happen as always, complete with an amazing stew provided by the farmers and potluck dishes from the community. This will be when the winner of the turkey dinner raffle will be chosen.

Unlike most years, this will not constitute the end of the market season. There is just too much production going on to end it so soon. The market will continue to have vendors selling their produce at the market well into October this year, some even longer.

The market is still evolving. As producers learn to extend their seasons, it is the community's turn to learn to extend the expectations. You can expect to see the variety of veggies changing over the next three weeks of September, but you also can expect to be able to continue sourcing your fresh herbs and heartiest veggies down at the market for many weeks to come.

So make a habit of supporting those dedicated farmers on Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and in return fill your kitchen with the aromas of fresh rosemary roasted potatoes, stuffed zucchini with mozzarella and fresh herbs, or any other recipe that helps you ward off the September chill.

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