Food Hub opens for a second season

The Kenai Peninsula Food Hub is back for its second season, offering a selection of locally sourced produce, meat, shellfish and more.

“The Food Hub is the state’s first online farmer’s market,” Kenai Soil and Water Conservantion District Manager Heidi Chay said.

The Food Hub launched last year with pickup locations at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna and at Kachemak Community Center in Homer.

“This year, what’s different is that you can find products from Homer area markets,” Chay said. “This means we can get bouquet of tulips, fresh oysters, turkeys, ducks and all these things that weren’t available before.”

Chay explained that as the transportation system between the two locations develops, they hope to bring Soldotna-area goods to Homer as well.

Pickup at the Soldotna location is every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All ordering is done online ahead of time, with producers updating their product availability and customers choosing their products and placing an order.

The order will be available at the Christ Lutheran Church on Wednesday, where Steve Dahl, volunteer coordinator for the central Kenai Peninsula sales, will be waiting to greet customers and divvy out their orders.

“This week is a slow week,” Dahl said. “It really picks up more in the summer.”

Dahl, who also runs Eagle Glade Farm in Nikiski, said he and his wife Louise Heite plan on having chives out next week, but that poor weather has led to a later growing season on the central peninsula overall in comparison to Homer.

“We have a lot of Homer stuff today, because we’re in a different climate than them,” Dahl said. “There are six different microclimates on the peninsula. It’s been cold in ours.”

As summer picks up and temperatures warm, the Food Hub will see an influx of products, including local flowers and crafts.

“I love it,” Beck Metz said as she picked up this week’s order, which included oysters from Jakolof Bay Oyster Company in Homer.

“I love getting good, local and organic produce,” Metz said. “I’m most looking forward to Lou’s Greens, though.”

Dahl thinks potatoes are going to be a big hit this summer.

“Because, who doesn’t like potatoes?” he said.

To purchase items from the Food Hub, visit KenaiFoodHub.org.

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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