Eat Healthy, Support Local at Kaka'ako Farmers' Market

November 08, 2016

Fresh green lettuce and cabbage by Kozen Farm

During the weekdays, this is the “hot” spot of a new construction activity in town. Tinkering sounds shower down from somewhere up in the sky and neon-yellow dots of workers in the still hollow concrete frames highlight how high they are going up.

On Saturday mornings, it is quite a contrast that you can munch on your favorite food and enjoy live music under the soaring blue sky at Kaka'ako Farmers' Market (Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to noon). The mauka-side parking lot of the Ward Warehouse is literally transformed into a long swath of farmland where you can find a load of Hawaii-grown bounty. It is amazing how much you can learn about Hawaii’s local farms and their sincere dedication to our well-being in a short casual stroll.

As is always the case with anywhere in the Islands, fresh crisp greens are the first-grab for many of us. A packaged green mix or neatly wrapped lettuce goes out fast here too. Pick some bunches of green lettuce and cabbages just arrived from the Big Island at the Kozen Farm’s tent. This is the only place in Oahu where you can taste Kozen’s vibrant greens grown in the rich soil of Waimea.

Packed vegan meals by Greens & Vines

If you are a more of grab-and-go type, Greens & Vines is a perfect stop to restock your home with superb organic vegan meals for the week. Their popular menu items at the restaurant are conveniently packed to go. Grab a handful of hearty guilt-free snacks for your office. They will surely boost up your energy in the middle of the day.

Here at the Kaka'ako Farmers' Market, you can also witness an authentic Hawaiian experience. The 'Ai Manuahi Farms’s ohana is ready to hand pound organic taros into pa'i 'ai (fresh pounded poi (taro)) right in front of your eyes. Bring home this more than 1,500-year-old traditional Hawaiian staple (pai’ ai can last for months!). It was one of the mainstays for Polynesian voyagers during their long sea travel.

Fresh pound Poi by 'Ai Manuahi Farms

Another eye-catching demonstration awaits in the Roots & Branches’s tent: the husks of coconuts are broken into pieces, exposing a white jewel inside. The end product?  Amazing Hawaiian coconut soaps, shell cups, and incredibly Eco-friendly bamboo straws.

Hawaiian coconut soaps and salves by Roots & Branches

For those who visit Farmer’s Markets to fill your sweet cravings, Hawaii’s mother nature certainly hears your voices. Rich and deep sweetness of raw Hawaiian honey from the Hawaiian Fresh Farms, awaken you completely. Something in which you may want to experience every morning.

Raw Hawaiian honey (Cinnamon or Lemon Ginger) by Hawaiian Fresh Farms

If you like more of a nutty addition to your morning routine, check out the varieties of almond dip and macadamia nut butter at the Nutty by Nature’s booth (see the featured pic for their products). Using 100% locally grown herbs, and free from dairy, gluten and soy contents, this savory dip goes beyond just being a dip. Its smooth hummus like texture will enhance every bite of your favorite bread to the next level. And you can’t go wrong when you spread it over steamy fresh pieces of ShAloha PITA bread. Super soft, fluffy, and all natural… Mmmm, Mmmm, a match in nutty heaven.

Above: The Nutty by Nature’s almond dip comes in three different flavors.

Above: ShAloha Pita Bread for your curry, sandwich, or carb craving.

No time to sit down and eat your breakfast? No worries, you will find enticing golden displays of local bakeries throughout the venue. Heart Flame Bakery is the-to-go for organic gluten-free baked goodies. The individually wrapped loaves of Mac brownies and other Hawaii-infused cakes are hard to pass by.

Fresh baked loaves of brownies and cakes by Heart Bakery

If you have a sweet spot for crusty pastries, The French Connection got your back. From the sweet and tender cannelle to the hearty quiche, the only problem for you are which ones to choose from.  Amidst the flying French chattering between the bakers and the regular customers, you will momentarily forget that you’re in Hawaii—Authenticity guaranteed!

Golden crisp brioches by The French Connection

As Hawaii relies on about 85% of its food resources from outside shipments, Farmer’s Markets throughout the Islands are truly a blessing for us to remember how much Hawaii’s rich soil and climate can offer and its limitless potential for the sustainable future.

Eat healthy and support local farmers!

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