[Editor's note: From time to time, OutriggerHawaii invites guests to blog on View from Here. We recently discovered a fabulous website called
Share Your Table
and were inspired to ask its creator
to share a secret from her table: The farmers' market at Kapiolani Community College. Here's what she had to say.]
From edible palm trees and Maui grown lavender to fresh tropical fruit, taste the flavors of Hawaii at the KCC Farmer’s Market.
by Melanie Kosaka
Every Saturday morning locals and visitors alike gather at the foot of Diamond Head to sip fresh brewed Hawaii coffee, peruse the rows of local produce and sample a delectable variety of freshly made foods that range from grilled burgers made with 100% grass fed beef from North Shore Cattle Company to Licious Dishes’ vegan raw offerings sourced from local farmers. The Farmer’s Market at KCC happens every Saturday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Kapiolani Community College.
I’ve been coming to the market since its inception in 2003 when just a handful of local farmers and purveyors filled with a passion for sharing and connecting over food, first launched what has become a Saturday morning ritual for many in my neighborhood.
While the vibrant colors and smells of the market are offered up in a dizzying array for your senses, I always find nourishment and comfort in the familiar faces of the customers and vendors, who have been with the market since its start. Like good friend Dean Okimoto of Nalo Farms, he’s been with the market since the beginning selling his famous salad mix of soft, crisp and crunchy textures. His product line now includes a variety of salad dressings and marinades.
I enjoy filling my market bag with some of the more exotic offerings: Big Island farm-raised abalone, sea asparagus, coffee and chocolate. Hawaii is the only region in the United States that grows coffee and cacao and the market sells a variety of locally roasted coffees and chocolate confections.
I walk along the rows of farmers and vendors and find tropical fruits--mangoes, papaya and dragon fruit--mingling with organic greens, tropical flowers and fresh herbs. Some vendors offer prepared foods like fried green tomatoes, Pacifickool ginger drinks, grilled sausages and local style bentos.
Hawaii’s diverse agriculture and culture make this one of the most unique farmer’s markets in the United States. A side benefit of any visit are the aromas. I love to inhale the wonderful flavors of Hawaii.
Melanie Kosaka is the owner and founder of First Daughter Mediaworks,Inc. a company specializing in culinary television production and interactive media. Her credits include the James Beard award winning series, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi, which has been distributed in 66 countries, New American Cuisine featuring star chefs from around the United States, and GetHealthyNowHawaii.com an online based educational product. FDM has produced over 500 hours of cooking and lifestyle programming for national and international distribution.
The market is run by the non-profit, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. Besides the KCC Farmer’s Market, the Farm Bureau also has several smaller farmers markets.
North Shore Cattle Company
Honolulu Farmer’s Market at Blaisdell Center (http://hfbf.org/farmersMarketHonolulu.shtml)
Wednesday 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Kailua Farmers’ Market (http://hfbf.org/farmersMarketKailua.shtml)
Kailua Parking Garage
Thursday, 5 to 7:30pm
Keahou Farmer’s Market – Big Island (http://www.keauhoufarmersmarket.com/)
Saturday 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Mililani Farmer’s Market (http://hfbf.org/farmersMarketMililani.shtml)
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.