Farmers’ markets good for growers, consumers
Another farmers' market is set to open this spring in Waianae.
Expansion of Oahu's farmers' markets to Waianae makes sense since many fruits and vegetables are grown in the region. Offering fresh fish will boost attraction to the Leeward venue and could open economic opportunities for island fishers as well.
The markets, sponsored by the Hawaii Farm Bureau and the state Department of Agriculture, have grown in popularity in the five years since the first was set up at Kapiolani Community College. At present, two others have been organized, one in Mililani and another in Kailua.
They provide a way to sell produce from farms that might not be able guarantee quantities with the regularity that supermarkets often demand and from small enterprises that make products like jams and sauces from locally grown foods.
Moreover, the markets provide consumers with fresh foods that have good nutritional value, promoting healthier diets. They directly support agriculture across the state because many of the products come from Maui and Hawaii island, where micro-climates permit growing vegetables and fruits that can't be cultivated on Oahu.
The variety -- from strawberries in summer to citrus year-round -- has some people questioning whether everything being offered comes from Hawaii, but the markets' officials are on the watch to ensure they are.
The Waianae venue, which should open entry to some of the scores of vendors wait-listed for market space, will be a welcome addition.
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