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The sun and our seasons

The sun’s strength determines the kinds of produce we get throughout the season. It also determines how popcorn is popped at Coffee Creek.

This week (September 21) we will start tearing down the market at sunset (6:47 PM this week).


By Kat Peters, Market Manager


We know that the sun is what gives us our seasons, and we at the Coffee Creek Farmers Market are all about eating seasonally! But do we really pay attention to the sun as our reason for being?


This week of the fall equinox, we begin closing the market at sunset, officially at 6:47 PM this Wednesday, September 21. So it’s a great week to pay attention to the sun and how the amount of sun we gets impacts our lives. When was the last time you really noticed and contemplated the sun’s regular cycles in our lives?

Long shadows at the market let us know that fall is here.


Here are a few ways you can notice the sun's impact at the market:


The sun’s strength determines the kinds of produce we get throughout the season. There are some plants that take only a few days to go from seed to germination to producing something we can eat, like herbs. There are other crops that take a little longer, like lettuces or kale, but are still relatively quick.


Some fruits join us relatively early in the season, like strawberries, and then blueberries and raspberries.


Then they are other crops that need to soak up as much sun as possible over the course of the growing season in order to produce something so packed with nutrition and goodness that we get to celebrate those things later on: tomatoes, peaches, pumpkins and gourds, potatoes and corn – so many nourishing crops that are bringing us the sun’s energy in a delicious package.

The sun works slightly differently in Indiana than it does in Michigan, from where Klug's Family Produce hails.


This past week I learned a little more about what living seasonally looks like. One of our new vendors, Peace Organics, pops organic, heirloom popcorn with a popcorn machine that runs on a solar-powered generator. You can see his solar panels out behind his tent.

Jim and his solar powered generator at the market.


Jim, from Peace Organics, let me know the week before that the September sun was not strong enough to power his generator after about 6 PM, when the sun goes behind the trees to our west. Even when it is high in the sky, the sun’s rays aren’t as direct as they are in the summer months, and the popcorn popper was in danger of losing power.


Here’s where living seasonally comes in. We did move Jim to the North side of the lot, where he could access electricity if he needed to. But he thought ahead and turned off several nice but unnecessary parts of the popcorn popper, leaving only the essential popping function on. So that reduced the need for power.


Then, when he saw that the sun was headed for the trees, he popped one last big batch of popcorn, to hold him over through the end of the market. He never had to plug in!


Living seasonally means adjusting our expectations and our needs, and living within our limitations to still get the result we were hoping for! We can work smart and in many cases have both: four seasons and delicious local food.


This week of the fall equinox, we begin closing the market at sunset, officially at 6:47 PM this Wednesday, September 21.

Find us this week and every week at our Wednesday market at the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve Pavilion parking lot, April 20-November 2, 2022, from 3-7 PM. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our mailing list to get notified of all of the vendors' featured products each week.


It's the VERY LAST DAY! to vote for the Coffee Creek Farmers Market as your favorite market and help us to win part of this year's $10,000 prize from American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition! Click here to cast your vote for us and get a free No Farms No Food bumper sticker!

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