Used to be that if you wanted fresh, local and organic produce in Hawaii you had to shop at health food stores selling primarily expensive imports from the Mainland. But now there are a growing number of organic farms in Hawaii selling their produce directly to consumers.
Here are my top picks:
1. Maui Bees, 150 Pule Nui Road, Kula, Maui. Open daily.
Probably the most scenic view you’ll ever seen from a farm. On a clear day there are views of four islands while you pick your own produce. Don’t be fooled by the flags of another farm on the corner; that’s not Maui Bees. You’ll need to drive upslope about 1/4 mile, and then you’ll see their Honey for Sale sign. You’re at the right place when you feel like you’re pulling into someone’s driveway.
2. Waipa Farmer’s Market, past Hanalei, Kauai. Open Tuesdays from 2 pm to 6 pm.
One of Kauai’s best kept secrets set against the lush greenery and waterfalls of the northshore. Rain or shine, this small but excellent market delivers some of the best quality food you’ll find on Kauai. If you’re lucky, you might score some poi made from heirloom taro at Waipa’s community mill next door.
3. Hilo Farmer’s Market, Hilo, Hawaii. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6 am to 4 pm.
Hawaii’s biggest and most famous farmer’s market, it does not disappoint. You’ll find beautiful of organic produce from nearby farms at great prices. Many farmers make their own “value added” products, such as jams, jellies and condiments. The market also hosts an entire section of local artisans, weavers and jewelers. The market alone is worth a day trip from Kona or another island. But get there early because the best produce goes fast.
You’ve scored some amazing produce now what? Check out www.RecipesinSeason.org for tips and recipes on how prepare fresh food for maximal nutrition and flavor.