Restoration Ecology in Hawaii

A Trip to the Waipa Farmers Market
by -- March 18th, 2013

On Tuesday afternoon after touring the grounds of the Waipa ahupua’a (watershed) and valley, the Duke DEL-MEM class visited the Waipa Farmers Market.  Held every Tuesday starting at 2 p.m. on the Waipa Foundation property, the farmers market showcases local craft vendors and farmers, many of which grow organic.  Their motto is BUY LOCAL, EAT LOCAL, LIVE LOCAL.

During our Tuesday trip, items for purchase included handcrafted jewelry, soap, pies, and chocolates, as well as homemade ice cream and produce.  Local produce specialties included starfruit, mangosteen, pineapples, lettuce, bananas, and mountain apples.  At the far end of the market, a woman was splitting whole coconuts open with machetes.  Simply sticking a straw in the middle allowed one to sip the refreshing coconut milk – no glass required.  The Waipa Foundation maintains a booth with educational brochures, tote bags for sale, and their own produce selection.  Staff members are happy to tell the story of the foundation and answer questions.

On our visit it was bright and sunny, and the market quickly became crowded with both locals and tourists.  The Waipa Farmers Market is popular, and there is currently a waiting list for craft vendors.  A trip to the farmers market is the perfect way to stock up a rental house, fill up a picnic lunch, feel like a local, or just listen to the stories of the vendors and learn about the Foundation.  Non-locals can feel good about their souvenir purchases, knowing that the money is well spent to support the local economy.  It made for a very nice afternoon during our visit to the Waipa Foundation, and we were eating its food during the rest of our stay in the Hanalei area.

More information about the Farmers Market can be found at:  http://waipafoundation.org/community_market/.

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