Walk Downtown for Your Farmer’s Market Fix

Spinach. Jasmine&Roses/Flickr
Spinach. Jasmine&Roses/Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

You don’t have to wait until summer to buy goods at a Kodiak farmer’s market. You just need to drop by Sutliff True Value downtown tonight. Or their parking lot, anyway.

Merissa Koller Williams, executive director of the community wellness group, Healthy Tomorrows, says a farmer’s market tonight is one community initiative which received funding last winter through an event called Kodiak Strong.

“There wasn’t a really strong, committed group of people like we have with the food co-op, so it didn’t really make a lot of progress until Midge Short reached out to Mayor Branson, who directed her to me, and Midge says ‘Hey, I’m just hanging out in Sutliff’s parking lot on Wednesday nights selling produce, and Sutliff’s said it would be okay if we had a few more people.”

Koller Williams says she made plans with Sutliff’s to reserve the parking lot following her conversation with Short, and speaks about the benefits of shopping for locally sourced food. She says she bought spinach from Short and her husband and it stays fresh for longer than the imported spinach.

“I think that really speaks to the amount of nutrients and quality we lose in the transportation from point A to point B to point C to eventually Kodiak, and the stuff that we get here eliminates all of that. And I can tell the difference too when it cooks down even to the consistency to the store-bought stuff versus what I’ve bought locally. It’s a lot thicker, a lot heartier.”

And there are a lot of growers who want to share their stock. Koller Williams says she posted about the market on the Friends of Kodiak Facebook page Monday and received responses instantly.

“Social media has been a real point of connectivity for the projects that we’re working on through the Kodiak Strong event. I think even if people weren’t there, we really nailed the gaps in the community because as soon as you post something about it on social media, it just blows up and people are excited about it, and it’s people who weren’t at the planning day. I mean, it’s just general public.”

Koller Williams says she expects there to be preserves, jewelry, baked goods, and some produce at the event. She says it’ll continue between 6pm and 8pm, and happen every Wednesday, with room to grow and develop as the market continues from week to week.

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