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Honolulu Farmers' Markets: A Tropical Bounty

Updated on August 13, 2016
Hawaiian Scribe profile image

Stephanie Launiu is a Native Hawaiian lifestyle and cultural writer. She has a degree in Hawaiian Pacific Studies. She lives on O'ahu.

Honolulu Farmers' Markets are unique cultural and social events in Hawai'i.
Honolulu Farmers' Markets are unique cultural and social events in Hawai'i. | Source
You can easily find bouquets of exotic flowers, just picked that morning, for only a few dollars.
You can easily find bouquets of exotic flowers, just picked that morning, for only a few dollars. | Source

How many farmers' markets have you been to in the past year?

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Local farmers’ markets have become popular community events that directly link people with fresh farm-grown produce. On any day of the week, you can find a farmers’ market on O'ahu to thrill your senses.

Honolulu farmers’ markets abound with exotic fruitsand vegetables, and delicious aromas of freshly cooked lumpia, sushi, spam musubi and hulihuli chicken lunch plates. Buckets of tropical flowers like orchids, anthuriums, ginger, bird of paradise and heliconia are everywhere. You can count on seeing bottles of Manoa honey, Hawaiian vanilla, organic eggs, super sweet Kahuku corn, North Shore beef, aqua-cultured prawns and other seafood, and the irresistible Waialua chocolate. Depending on the time and place, you might even be treated to a cooking demonstration by any number of local celebrity chefs or a hula show by local halau.

The Top 3 Tips for Shoppers are:

1) Go early. Parking will be easier to find and you’ll get first dibs on the freshest items.

2) Bring your own bags. You may not need them, but it’ll make it easier if you can bag your own produce, pay for them and move on. If you think you might buy meat or seafood, it’s a good idea to bring a small cooler, with ice, so you won’t feel the need to rush home with your purchases.

3) Bring cash in small denominations. Many vendors now accept debit cards, but not all do. You may be able to negotiate a discount with cash. Some farmers’ markets accept EBT cards which allow recipients of SNAP (food stamps)to buy eligible items. Call ahead if you want to use an EBT card to ensure that it will be accepted.

Hawai'i Farmers' Market Cookbooks

Whether you've been to a Honolulu Farmers' Market or not, you'll definitely want to get one or both of the specialized cookbooks that capture the spirit and fun of these culturally-rich island events.

Volume I: “Fresh Island Products from A to Z” is a 182 page softcover spiral-bound cookbook with over 100 original recipes using over 75 locally-grown products.

Volume II: “The Chefs’ Guide to Fresh Island Foods” shines a spotlight on eighteen of Hawaii’s celebrity chefs including Sam Choy, Alan Wong, and Roy Yamaguchi who share more than 75 recipes within its 150 pages.

Special Programs at O'ahu Farmers' Markets

Honolulu farmers’ markets aren’t just a money-making venture for local farms and entrepreneurs. They are a community event by and for people, even those without much money at all.

· The Senior Nutrition Program is sponsored by the Hawai’i Foodbank to provide eligible low income seniors with vouchers for fresh produce.

· “Give It Fresh Today” is a program that helps the homeless. At certain farmers’ markets you’ll be given the opportunity to donate what you buy. You are also encouraged to share whatever produce you grow in your home garden if you happen to have a bumper crop.

Kapiolani Community College Farmers' Market

Schedule of Honolulu Farmers' Markets

Although Honolulu is the most well-known city on the island of O'ahu, farmers’ markets are held all over the island because there is such a high demand for them.

The following schedule of O'ahu Farmers’ Markets was published in the Honolulu Star Advertiser on August 1, 2016. I’ve checked the accuracy of the information and have made several changes to the original list, but if you are new to the area please call ahead before making a trip to shop.

Honolulu

Aloha Tower Marketplace: 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 Aloha Tower Drive; run by Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. Call 260-4440 or visit hfbf.org/market.

Blaisdell Center: 4-7pm Wednesdays, 777 Ward Ave. (Ward & King), operated by Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, call 260-4440 or visit hfbf.org/markets.

Crop Shop: 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays at the Towers at Kuhio Park, parking lot of Tower B. 1475 Linapuni St., Kalihi. Double Bucks program allows EBT card holders to receive twice the value for purchases of fresh produce up to $20. Call 841-7504.

HMSA Building: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, 818 Keeau­moku St., along Keeaumoku and Rycroft streets; run by ’Nalo Farms. Call 948-6826.

First Insurance Center: 11a-1p first & third Wednesdays, 1100 Ward Ave. (across Thomas Square) call 523-0908

Kaiser Permanente Honolulu: 8a-1:30p Thursdays, 1010 Pensacola St., call 432-2260

Kaiser Permanente - Mapunapuna: 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, 2828 Paa St. Call 432-2260.

Kaiser Permanente - Moanalua: 8a-1:30p Wednesdays, 3288 Moanalua Rd, call 432-2260

Kakaako: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd, parking lot on Auahi Street. Call 388-9696 or visit farmloversmarkets.com.

Makiki Farmers' Market: 4:30-7:30p Thursdays, The Parish of St. Clement, 1515 Wilder Ave. (corner of Wilder Ave. & Makiki St.) call 955-7745.

Manoa Marketplace: 6am-2pm Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2752 Woodlawn Dr, Call 988-1406.

Queen’s Medical Center: 9a-1p first Wednesdays, 1301 Punchbowl St., call 691-4010

Central Oahu

Kaiser Permanente Waipio: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. first and third Fridays, 94-1480 Moaniani St., call 432-2260.

Mililani High: 8-11am Sundays, 95-1200 Meheula Parkway, operated by Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Call 260-4440 or visit hfbf.org/market.

Mililani Tech Park: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, 100 Kahelu Ave. run by Hiraoka Farm. Call 421-7996 or 341-2971.

Pearlridge Center: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Sears parking lot. Call 388-9696 or visit farmloversmarkets.com.

Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission: 4:30-6:30p Thursdays, 1067 California Ave., call 621-7097

North Shore

Brigham Young University Hawaii: 10:30a-2p every other Friday, 55-220 Kulanui St., in Aloha Center Mall, Room 155/165, Laie, call 675-3570 or email pukahit@byuh.edu.

Haleiwa Farmers' Market: 2-6pm Thursdays, Pikake Pavilion in Waimea Valley, 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, call 388-9696 or visit www.haleiwafarmersmarket.com

Haleiwa Town: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, behind North Shore Marketplace; run by Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. Call 260-4440 or visit hfbf.org/market.

North Shore Country Market: 8a-2p Saturdays, Sunset Beach Elem School, 59-360 Kamehameha Hwy, call 234-9421

Waialua Sugar Mill: 4-7p Wednesdays & 8:30a-2p Saturdays, call 637-4439

East Honolulu

Hawaii Kai Towne Center: 7:30a-3p Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays, behind Panda Express, call 396-0766

Kapiolani Community College; 4-7p Tuesdays & 7:30-11am Saturdays, 4303 Diamond Head Rd.,operated by Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Call 260-4440 or visit hfbf.org/market.

Windward

Kailua: 5-7:30p Thursdays, 609 Kailua Rd, in parking lot by Longs, operated by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, call 260-4440 or visit hfbf.org/market/

Kailua Town: 8:30-12 Sundays, Kailua Elementary School, 315 Kuulei Rd., call 388-9696.

Olomana Night Market: 4 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Olomana Golf Links, 41-1802 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo; run by Makanalani Market. Call 216-9632.

Benjamin Parker Elementary School: 9am to 1pm Saturdays, 45-260 Waikalua Rd, Kaneohe, operated by Makanalani Market, call 216-9632.

Waimanalo Market Co-op: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday thru Saturday, 41-1029 Kalani­anaole Highway, Waimanalo. Call 690-7607 or email waimanalomarket96795@gmail.com.

Windward Mall: 9:45a-2p Sundays & 2:30-7p Wednesdays in Upper Level of Center Court and Macy's Wing, call 235-1143

Waikiki

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Farmers' Market: 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2424 Kalakaua Ave., Pualeilani Atrium Shops; operated by Mahiku Farms, Parking is $8 self-parking and $13 valet. Call 225-4002, or visit mahikufarmersmarket.com.

Jefferson Elementary School: 8a-2p Saturdays, 324 Kapahulu Ave., operated by Creations of Hawaii, call 735-4510 or visit www.bymela.vpweb.com

King’s Village Shopping Center: 4-9p Mon, Wed, Fri & Saturdays, 131 Kaiulani Ave., operated by Mahiku Farms, call 225-4002 or visit mahikufarmersmarket.com.

Leeward

Ewa Beach: 3-7p Wednesdays, Waterfront at Puuloa, 5105 Iroquois Ave, operated by Mahiku Farms, call 225-4002 or visit mahikufarmersmarket.com.

Kapolei High School: 3-6:30p Thursdays, 91-5007 Kapolei Parkway, call 697-3709 or 692-8200.

Kunia Farmers' Market: 3 to 6 p.m. Fridays, 92-1770 Kunia Road; run by Hawaii Agriculture Research Center and Pacific Gateway Center. Call 621-1350.

Queen’s Medical Center- West Oahu Fresh Market: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. third Wednesdays, 91-2141 Fort Weaver Road. Call 691-3197.

Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center: 10a-1p Tuesdays, 86-260 Farrington Hwy, in the breezeway area, EBT Double Bucks program for fresh fruits, vegetables, poi and honey (up to $20) runs for a limited time, call 697-3599 or email waianaefarmersmarket@wcchc.com

Waianae Mall: 8-noon Saturdays, behind Pizza Hut, 86-120 Farrington Hwy, sponsored by Waianae Coast Comprehensive Center, EBT Double Bucks program for fresh fruits, vegetables, poi and honey (up to $20) runs for a limited time, call 697-3599.

People’s Open Markets

The City & County of Honolulu posts a schedule of markets held weekly at public parks. Markets are closed on all city holidays. Call 768-9299 or click here for the schedule at a park near you.


© 2013 Stephanie Launiu

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    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      http://realkauai.com/FarmersMarkets/

      Thanks hawaiianodysseus! It was a lot of fun putting this hub together. The link above is to a list of farmers' markets on Kaua'i. Not sure whether it's up to date, but it looks pretty comprehensive. Aloha, Stephanie

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Lucky you are indeed, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing this wonderful and practical hub! I'm impressed with the amount of research you must've done in preparation for the writing of this article. I wonder if I can find similar information for the island of Kaua'i. Farmer's markets rock, and they certainly are a nice alternative--or at least complement--to the more expensive grocery stores. Aloha and mahalo, Stephanie!

      Joe

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      Always glad to find another farmers' market fan. Lucky we live Hawai'i! Aloha, Stephanie

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      Thanks billybuc! I'm a big fan of yours and read your hubs every time you publish. Appreciate the comment! Aloha, Stephanie

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      @KawikaChann: Always glad to find another farmers' market fan. Lucky we live Hawai'i! Aloha, Stephanie

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always nice to learn more about an area I have never visited. Thanks for taking me with you to the farmer's markets of Honolulu.

      blessings always

      bill

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      I'm glad I came across your hub - much needed and important locations. Farmer's markets always off-set the high prices of the supermarkets. We always hit the ones at Waialua sugar mill, Sunset El, and Wahiawa. Brings back memories. Up/awesome/follower. Peace. Kawi.

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