Find a Local Farmers Market in HI
Just about everybody knows by now that Hawaii farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on many occasions.
Hawaii farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they take place in your home town, so you aren't required to journey far to locate them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they've gotten popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Hawaii
The advantages of shopping at your local Hawaii farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come straight from the farm to the market. The majority of crops available for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Hawaii farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help relieve global warming, and usually, farmers do not have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost by using less fuel and contributing less pollutants in the air.
Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not have to mark up his prices to earn money from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less of your budget for a much better product, and who does not like that?
These markets benefit Hawaii farmers, as well, given that they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and they don't need to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, so they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to purchase from local HI farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Hawaii Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Actually it all is dependent upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Hawaii farmers markets are such a big deal now, that usually local newspapers will print a schedule of markets in your area as the season is about to begin.
Often, you can find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've become very popular, in fact, that some communities enjoy a number of farmers markets every week, so it pays to shop all of them and choose the ones that provide the produce and other products you like the best.
What to Look for at a Hawaii Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Hawaii farms promoting their products at sensible prices, but there are a few things to look out for. Make sure the produce is ripe and hasn't been sitting out in the sun too long, or has been damaged in transport. Many booths offer a free taste of whatever you are looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you may not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may also offer you recipes and other ideas on how to serve their products, too. At the really big markets, organizers may bring in free entertainment, arts and crafts booths, and other amusements to bring in the crowds, and they may even provide play areas for the kids, too.
Look for other items at your farmers market, too. Sometimes local meat, cheese, and dairy producers bring their wares, and big markets are more like a county fair, with food booths, information booths, and even games for the whole family. So, check out a local Hawaii farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.