Tag Archives: Farmers’ Markets

Ka’u Coffee Festival

 

Right away, I headed for the food booths. I know how delicious Pahala foods can be! The 4-H booth served beef plate lunches from home-grown beef.

 

Typical local-style plate lunch is a meat, “two scoop” rice, and macaroni salad.

 

Dane and Terri Shibuya are good friends. Dane is the Community Policeman for Ka’u District. They are also owners and operators of Masazo’s Pig Farm.

 

Their oldest daughter was missing in this Shibuya family photo, because she is on the mainland working on a graduate degree. Their daughter Brandi was First Princess of the Ka’u Coffee Festival.

 

After a huge plate lunch, it’s time for dessert!

 

Is that a “shave ice” he has?

 

Honu`apo, a local beach also known by some as Whittington Beach, had their own booth . . .

 

. . . and the women working the booth showed off their beautiful shirts. The profits go to return the beach to its original state.

 

New plans are underway to continue renovation of Honu`apo. For a previous post about Honu`apo, click here.

 

There will be a special ho`olaule`a (festival) on Labor Day Weekend, 2010 at Honu`apo to celebrate. Watch for more information.

The Coffee Festival brought out folks from all over the island, and probably elsewhere.

 

Inside the exhibit hall . . .

 

. . . various coffee growers had their coffees on display and available for tasting.

 

There were also displays of foods by local culinary students and chefs.

 

Be sure to look at the slideshow at the end to see each of these individually, and read the names of the dishes. It’s too bad they weren’t available for tasting! I’d love to have some of these recipes.

 

Other booths featured crafts, some decorated with traditional Hawai`ian designs . . .

 

. . . and various items made from coffee bags. Ka’u coffee is quickly taking over the Kona monopoly in flavor. If you get a chance, be sure to try some.

 

I had a chance to visit with my friend, Kazu, who caught me up on various other people who had been members of my church there in Pahala.

 

There were “choke” (plenty) food booths. You can tell the people of Ka’u love to eat!

 

Anywhere else, we might call it all “ethnic foods,” but here it’s just “local.”

 

Here is a luscious display of local Ka’u produce. The weekly farmers’ market is usually loaded with wonderful fruits and veggies, homemade breads and more.

 

No gathering in Hawai`i is quite complete without a good local band.

 

Pahala is a small sugar plantation village. When I moved there in early 1996, the plantation had been closed less than two years. They seem to have rallied over the years. If you are driving around the Big Island, be sure to stop and visit this historical spot.

 

To see individual pictures of all these photos, view this slideshow.

 

Click here for a larger view of the slideshow. You will be rewarded!

A hui hou!

Black & White Night in Hilo

On November 6, 2009, Hilo held its 9th Annual Black & White celebration. My natural tendency is to avoid events like this. I much prefer to stay home and write or work in my garden. A colleague at the college convinced me that I needed to get out more. Being the “loner” I am, I begrudgingly agreed.

I’m so glad I went! Not only did it give me some good blogging material, but I actually had a good time!

She made reservations at Uncle Billy’s Hotel for us to stay over that night, rather than drive back to our homes several hours away. The hotel receptionist graciously agreed to use my camera to take these photos of the four gals. The background is the patio area of Uncle Billy’s Hotel.

 

While this picture was being made, 87 year-old Uncle Billy himself wandered by. When I first moved to the Big Island thirteen years ago, I often saw him on his bicycle cruising the main drag of Kona. You might enjoy reading this article about the award he received a couple years ago and learn a little more about Uncle Billy (William J. Kimi Jr).

On our way to start the evening with supper, we came across a panda person running down the street, a black and white dog, and a barker dressed in her black and white. Everyone was dressed in black and white – some fancy costuming and some rather plain, but fitting into the black and white theme.

 

We met a fifth friend at Puka Puka Kitchen, a little hole in the wall with outstanding food! I can hardly wait to go back. Each of us chose something different.

 

My plate was a falafel pita and like a pig, I could have eaten two plates of it! What a pleasure!

 

I tried to get a picture of the menu, but the flash kept getting in the way.

 

But I did manage to get a good shot out the door toward the street and ocean.

 

While we were there, I asked someone to take a picture of the newly formed “Black Hat Society” ladies. Need I tell you we attracted quite a lot of attention? (giggling) I’m the one on your left, in case you couldn’t tell.

 

All the stores were open, and most offered some sort of pupu (snack). We wandered in and out, enjoying the merchandise and art work. Here the fifth addition to our foursome is examining these beautiful hand-woven baskets.

 

Here are just a few of the paintings on display (and for sale).

 

There were dresses . . .

 

. . . shorts and more made from rice bags. . .

 

. . . and hand-painted shopping bags. . .

 

. . . and novelty items like coasters made to resemble “slippahs” . . .

 

. . . and lei scarves hand-painted by Maya . . .

 

. . . and turtle sculptures.

 

You could buy any kind of produce . . .

 

. . . and plenty of other homemade goodies that were for sale.

 

My favorite of all the attractions was the number of street musicians everywhere.

 

Believe it or not, this introvert intends to go back again next year! Maybe I’ll see you there? In the meantime, if you’d like to see all these pictures individually, plus others that didn’t make it to the post, check out this slideshow.

To see it in full size, click here .

A hui hou!

Tiptoe through the…Sweet Peas?

 

I must have gotten to the market on California Avenue in Palo Alto too late in the season to see tulips, but there were plenty of other flowers to enjoy! The sweet aroma of huge bunches of sweet peas was almost overpowering. These in the above photo gave my room a wonderful ambience.

Other flowers that were in great abundance were the gerberas, iris, roses, dahlias and so many other spring blooms.

 

Brilliant yellow iris filled buckets everywhere I looked, almost in competition with the various colors of the cauliflower in the background.

 

Flowers everywhere! Of course, I was so envious of any farmer who had enough good soil to grow this kind of beauty. When I got home, however, I was happy to see so many of my canna, daylilies, and gladiolus bulbs had grown. I’ll show those on next week’s post.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many Canterbury Bells in one spot in my life! The color combination of these blossoms with raspberries was like eye candy for the soul.

 

Even though I live in “orchid land,” I still get a thrill at the sight of the Phaleonopsis (also spelled Phalaeonopsis), also often called the moth orchid.

 

I was pleased to see a display of eco-pots. Produced by the Sweetwater Nursery in Sepastapol, these pots can replace your clay or plastic pots. They are made of substances that are by-products of renewable and sustainable crops. Even when they can no longer be used, the pots are biodegradable.

 

Cole Canyon Farm had so many wonderful varieties of herbs. Please visit their site for information on purchasing and growing not only herbs, but veggies and fruits. I was especially interested in this display of mints. I didn’t know there were so many varieties. I want to taste them all!

 

I wanted to bring home one of each of these! I’ve looked all over for seeds for some of these varieties.

 

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these aromatic thymes, mostly because the saying by the famous “anonymous” is so correct! I may start using that as part of my signature on emails. Currently, I use “live gently on the earth,” another philosophy I attempt to adhere to.

 

This basket of basil looks like the profusion of sweet basil I grow in my own garden. I will soon make up a big batch of fresh pesto when I harvest mine. I can’t use up enough of it on a daily basis.

 

The New Natives company started out almost thirty years ago with wheatgrass as their original product. Since then, they have branched out into all kinds of healthy sprouts. This crop is experiencing renewed popularity. You can read about some of the health benefits here.

 

I need to tell you that there is so much more at this market than just fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. These next few photos come in the “miscellaneous” category, but they are as important as anything else I’ve talked about in these posts.

For example, who couldn’t resist having fresh pasta?

 

I absolutely adore fresh oysters! Too bad that we have to import our oysters from Washington and the East Coast here.

 

In Hawaii, we have our “huli huli chicken” – an enormous rotisserie along the side of the road that sends delicious smells into your open car window as you drive by. At this California market, I found RoliRoti Chicken.

 

Of course, no one can go to the Bay Area without eating hot sour dough bread. Pardon me while I drool for a few minutes!

 

At the end of the rows of produce, there was this musician giving us a background that was totally in keeping with the ambience of the market.

 

I’ll end this series on the California Avenue Farmers’ Market with a scene that is familiar to those who live in the Bay Area, or visit there often. I think most people understand when I say that I both miss it and don’t miss it. In case you want to go back and check out the other two in this series, go here and here.

 

Next week, I’m going to give you a break from California and show you an update of my garden. Things are beginning to grow again.

In the meantime, you might like to enjoy a slideshow of the California Avenue photos all in one place.


Click here to see a full sized slide show.

A hui hou!

 

Veggie Farmers on California Avenue

CALIFORNIA AVENUE MARKET
CALIFORNIA AVENUE MARKET

 

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the fruits at the California Avenue Farmers’ Market in Palo Alto. The fruits and veggies were intermingled with flowers and other products, which I’ll show you next week. This week it’s time for your veggies.

Across the way from Joanie’s Café where we ate a fantastic breakfast, there was the “asparagus and potato” stand. That’s the first stand that really caught my attention. When I shop in my local grocery store, I might have a choice of two or three kinds of potatoes, but look at the variety here – with fresh asparagus, no less!

 

I learn so much when I write these posts! I hadn’t noticed the name “Zuckerman’s Farms” on the canopy of this stand until I was writing, so I looked it up on Google. This farmer is part of an organization called CUESA, which means “the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture,” a topic about which I’m extremely interested.

The many varieties of common vegetables we often take for granted were obvious at this market. Of course, it was all fun and educational to see them, but I have to admit to a degree of envy that people have this at their disposal every week of the year! Check out these colorful cauliflower varieties.

 

Here is more cauliflower with artichokes and broccoli. . .

 

And how about all these fava beans??

 

So many beautiful varieties of string beans!

 

I’m not quite sure if sauerkraut qualifies as a vegetable or not, but it’s certainly made out of a veggie – and mighty good stuff it is, too! I grew up in Midwest German neighborhoods eating sauerkraut, spare ribs and mashed potatoes, almost all of it homemade. I absolutely adore sauerkraut whether cold from a jar, or slowly cooked with thick pork ribs. My dad made sauerkraut in our basement, until a batch blew up and ended up all over the ceiling! Needless to say, this stand caught my attention right away.

 

Squash is another vegetable I love, so I try to eat as many varieties that I can – both summer and winter squashes. There are amazing displays of fresh-picked squash. Here are at least two links to information about the Happy Boy Farms.

 

Behind these beautiful squash boxes, you see seedlings ready for people to take home and plant. I was so inspired when I came back home, that I put some seeds in little pots and other seeds I put directly into the ground. Everything is up!

 

I was surprised to see so many root vegetables. I usually think of them as fall or winter crops, but in a place like California (and actually in Hawaii, too) I think almost anything can be grown at any time of year. That was my experience when I lived in California, and it’s my experience here in Hawaii.

TURNIP ROOTS AND MORE
TURNIP ROOTS AND MORE

 

PARSNIPS, GARLIC, RADISHES
PARSNIPS, GARLIC, RADISHES

 

Sugar snap peas are among my favorite spring/summer veggies. This is a beautiful display of the basket overflowing with goodness. I have sugar snap peas coming up in my garden right now, which shows just how cool it is here this time of year. That’s not how most people think of Hawaii.

 

What a delight to see so many mushrooms! This is a delicious, low calorie product that can be a special addition to almost any recipe. They also can stand alone on their own. If you haven’t discovered the versatility of mushrooms, just Google mushroom recipes.

 

It’s worth making a special trip to California Avenue in Palo Alto on a Sunday morning just to do your week’s grocery shopping. Join others in making this a Sunday tradition. Next week, I’ll post flowers and other items available at the market.

 

I apologize to those vendors I don’t mention or for whom I don’t provide a link. I looked up all of the names I could read on my photos. Next time I get to this market, I’ll be more diligent in my efforts and ask!

A hui hou!

 

California Avenue Ambrosia

CALIFORNIA AVENUE MARKET
click here for larger image
CALIFORNIA AVENUE MARKET

 

A special thanks and big hug to my brother, Hilton Jones, who was my guest poster while I was away from my blog for several weeks. I spent many years living in California at different times in my life, but I had not been there to really re-live some of those days in a long time. I’m back home now, full of stories and pictures of my trip to California to visit family and friends, so you’ll be hearing about it for the next few weeks while I catch up on my gardening here in Hawaii.

Part of my journey included chauffeuring a friend who had recently had total knee replacement. The first Sunday I was there, he wanted to visit his favorite breakfast spot in Palo Alto. To our surprise, California Street was closed off for a Sunday Farmers’ Market. We managed to find a parking spot, eat a hearty breakfast, then wander through the market to sample the many varieties.

TASTY SAMPLES
click here for larger image
TASTY SAMPLES

 

There was almost too much to take in, and of course, there wasn’t much of it I could bring back home. Still, I had loads of fun talking with the vendors, buying a few things to eat while I was in California, telling them about my “gardening blog,” taking pictures to show my fans. This first post (there will be several) is about the variety of fruits I found there. I still didn’t get pictures of everything, even after making two Sunday visits to the market!

In 1997, the Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association was formed to provide local and regional foods. This page gives information on the other markets that are part of this non-profit association. Some are year-round markets, others are seasonal. If you are traveling through California, please stop and support this wonderful phenomenon.

One of the first stops I made was to the Triple Delight blueberry stand, since I try to eat blueberries every day. They are so delicious and super good for you. These were some of the plumpest and brightest blue I’d ever seen. I quickly got over my shyness and asked to take a picture of this lovely couple. I visited them a second time before I left to come back home to Hawaii. Both Sundays, there was a line-up of people waiting to get their blueberries. May they never run out of blueberries, because I promise to come back to visit again!

FRESH BLUEBERRIES
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FRESH BLUEBERRIES

 

It was cherry season, and there were several varieties of cherries everywhere! Even after a big breakfast, I couldn’t resist sampling the sweet red cherries and colorful Rainier cherries . . .

SWEET CHERRIES
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SWEET CHERRIES

 

. . . and the dark red Bing cherries. If I’d had an oven handy, I would have made one of my famous cherry pies!

BING CHERRIES
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BING CHERRIES

 

These colorful Rio Red grapefruits were so tempting.

RIO RED GRAPEFRUIT
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RIO RED GRAPEFRUIT

 

Strawberries were everywhere! Ever since I was a child, I think strawberries have been my very favorite fruit of all!

STRAWBERRIES
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STRAWBERRIES

 

The donut peaches were so cute – and smelled so sweet!

DONUT PEACHES
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DONUT PEACHES

 

Apricots have such a short growing season, so I was happy to be there on a weekend when they were on display. I had tried some from a local grocery store earlier in the week but they weren’t nearly as tasty as these from the market! Various vendors displayed combinations of apricots, raisins, cherries, and peaches.

APRICOTS, RAISINS, CHERRIES, PEACHES
click here for larger image
APRICOTS, RAISINS, CHERRIES, PEACHES

 

On our second Sunday visit to this wonderful market (and hearty breakfast), we stopped to chat with Nick, the vendor from Prevedelli Farms.

PREVEDELLI FARMS
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PREVEDELLI FARMS

 

Of course, we had to taste their fresh raspberry jam. My friend loves to make jam and calls it his “retirement therapy.” He bought a jar of theirs to take to his house. My luggage was already getting over-stuffed or I would have brought a jar home, too. Here you can see other products from the Prevedelli Farms.

FRESH BUTTERS AND PRESERVES
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FRESH BUTTERS AND PRESERVES

 

I leave you with this incredible display of Prevedelli’s fresh, delicate and luscious raspberries, as well as a glance at some of their other products.

FRESH RASPBERRIES
click here for larger image
FRESH RASPBERRIES

 

Since I can’t visit this market every Sunday, I invite you to go and check it out for yourself, then come back here and make a comment on your own reaction.

A hui hou!

 

The Southernmost Market in the USA

The image people seem to have of Hawai`i is one of luxurious living that is mostly out of the reach of most mainlanders – not just to buy a home, but to even visit for a short vacation.

The truth is that much of Hawai`i would be considered more like a third world state by some standards. I remember asking my brother about getting something printed. He nonchalantly said, “Just take it down to Kinko’s.” When I said we have no Kinko’s, he was in utter shock.

What?? No Kinko’s?

It may come as a surprise to many of our friends on the mainland and in other parts of the world that until recently, we had no Borders, no Costco, no Kmart (and more). I hear we will be getting a Target sometime next year! There are new stop lights where none existed ten years ago. Many dirt roads are just now getting paved

When I was a pastor in Pahala and Na`alehu, two plantation villages near my present home, I invited a work team of students from a mainland university to come during Spring Break. They had no idea what they were running into, and people in their home towns scoffed at the notion of these students doing volunteer work for needy people in Hawai`i. Most thought they were coming over here to surf and have fun. A group of changed students carried a different message back home at the end of their week.

Things are different down in our isolated district of Ka’u (two syllables – Kah-oo). The area of Ka’u is larger than the county (island) of Oahu, and much of it is lava, just like my acre. Many people live “off the grid,” and have no electricity or phone service. I have already written about the need for living on catchment, which means catching our own rain water. That’s not an economic necessity, but just the way it is in this part of the island.

As a result, “buying locally” isn’t simply a trendy thing to do here. For us here it is another of those necessities. Take a walk with me down the paths between vendors and see what you can buy.

I don’t grow corn, but others bring corn to the market – so beautiful and delicious! I am eating one right now, as I write this blog. Don’t mind the butter dripping on your screen.

Albert and Lily Ledergerber have a stand here several times a month, but not this week. He came to do their week’s groceries, however, and he showed me the fresh corn

Another friend (Lorie Obra) grows, picks, processes and roasts her own coffee from her estate. Personally, I think that Ka’u grown coffee is much richer and more consistent than Kona coffee, but don’t tell anyone I said that.

The first stop I make at the market is to Lorie’s stand for a cup to sip while I do my shopping for the week’s vegetables and fruits. She always bakes some sort of pastry to accompany it.

The seasons vary but some things are available year-round.

You can buy local honey, Japanese eggplant, several varieties of lettuce, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, homemade breads, local mac nuts (macadamia), and so much more.

One loaf of whole wheat bread was over $6.00 at one of the chain groceries in Kona this past week. Is it any wonder most of us either buy from “the breadman” or make our own?

I doubt if there are too many of these being sold in the mainland markets – Artocarpus heterophyllus. We call this “jackfruit.” They can get bigger than this, but here you can compare the fruit to the basket. Be sure to click on the link to see what it looks like inside.

There are too many good things to get pictures of them all. Eventually, I will feature more of the individual vendors. Today is just an overview

I do a lot of wishful thinking around the plants that are for sale

Artisans bring handmade garments, gourds and more

The jewelry here was all created by one woman. I plan to do a feature on her soon. She has made some of the most beautiful jewelery I’ve ever coveted. This shot is only one small end of what she displays on her table.

You can even buy locally made soaps and scents.

Marge and Dennis Elwell of Na`alehu Main Street said this market was begun with four farmers getting together in order to sell their produce. It has gradually grown to the size it is now. Marge and Dennis proudly wear their “Ka’u Farmers’ Market” t-shirts

The Na`alehu Farmer’s Market is held on the front lot of the Ace Hardware store every Wednesday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays from 8:00 am until to noon. At certain times of the year, the buying is more skimpy, but there is nearly always something to be found.

There are other farmer’s markets on the island, and bigger ones, but none has quite the hometown cozy feel of the one in Na`alehu. If there is someone you need to talk with, you can almost count on them being there

This is an area of the Big Island that most tourists know nothing about. If you are a visitor to our island and you just happen to be driving on Highway 11 through Na`alehu in the District of Ka’u, please stop and see what the excitement is about. You will be treated to some of our local fare

Here’s summer squash, fresh from our Na`alehu Farmers’ Market. I’ll have it for supper with a warm whole wheat tortilla I just made. Join me?