Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:53 PM on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Farmers' Market :
     Party, turkey raffle both celebrate harvest, community

For the Homer News

There's a party going on. It's not just a harvest party in everyone's gardens — carrots, beets and potatoes being pulled up out of the mud — it's also the Homer Farmers' Market annual harvest party down on Ocean Drive this Saturday.

Every year the market has a potluck for the community as a way to say thank you for so much wonderful support.

The market supplies the veggies for the huge pots of bubbling soups, as well as the location.

The rest comes from the community. Bring yourself, bring your friends, bring a dish to share, and suddenly we have a community event buzzing like only the market can.

This give-and-take also can be seen in the market's turkey raffle, the winners of which will be announced at 2 p.m. Saturday. This is where the vendors pitch in veggies and a locally raised turkey ready to cook for a Thanksgiving dinner.

There also is local low bush cranberry sauce, dinner rolls from Two Sisters and a pie of your choice. And that's just first place.

Second place gets three $20 market coins to spend with any vendor. Third place gets a market hoodie sweatshirt. Tickets are $5 a piece or five for $20.

The flip side of this is that community members buy the tickets that give them the chance to win all this and in turn support the farmers' market. Then, the market can spend that money to, say, gravel the parking lot for the customers or pay someone to run programs for kids.

It's an upward spiral of give-and-take.

As a matter of fact, this upward spiral is so rewarding that many of the vendors are going to continue selling goods and produce long after the harvest party. Sweet Berries plans to sell jams and jellies through October. With all the veggies still in the fields, many of the produce vendors will continue supplying your needs for weeks to come.

So come down this weekend for soup at noon and make sure to get your turkey raffle tickets before 2 p.m. and enjoy the harvest.

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