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North Shore farms will be open to public tours


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POSTED: Sunday, September 06, 2009

When Pamela Boyar was growing up in Westwood, Calif., in the 1950s, fresh fruit and vegetables were delivered to her home twice a week.

“;Fruit was displayed on one side of Mr. Powell's truck, vegetables on the other,”; recalled Boyar, co-owner of the Haleiwa Farmers' Market. “;As a little girl, I remember being amazed by all the colors and variety! He would always give my three sisters and me a juicy peach, plum, apricot—whatever fruit was in season. My favorite snack was raw English peas, picked right out of the shell.”;

Boyar's love for fresh produce turned into a career in health education and promoting organic foods. Highlights of her impressive resume include a home juice delivery business serving clients such as Cher, Herbie Hancock and Johnny Rivers; an organic produce company patronized by top chefs including Wolfgang Puck; part-owner of a health food restaurant; and founder and director of an award-winning farmers' market in Sunset Valley near Austin, Texas.

As the liaison to growers and chefs for Whole Foods Market in Austin, she created a farmers' market, farm and winery tours and cooking events spotlighting locally grown foods.

In November 2006, Boyar came to Oahu on vacation and fell in love with the island. When she moved here two months later, she began getting acquainted with farmers and food manufacturers. During those meetings she learned that residents of Haleiwa had been waiting 15 years for a farmers' market to be established in their neighborhood. Boyar and her longtime friend Annie Suite (an expert in marketing, education and business administration) realized they would make ideal partners for such a venture.

“;Since the majority of Hawaii's small fruit and vegetable growers farm on the North Shore, it made sense to open a market near them,”; Boyar said. “;Also, the North Shore is a community that embraces sustainability, so our concept of a green market fit right in.”;

               

     

 

HALEIWA FARMERS' MARKET FARM TOURS

        » Meet at: Haleiwa Farmers' Market (corner of Kamehameha Highway and Robert P. Leong Bypass Road), Haleiwa, Oahu. Bus transportation will be provided from there.
       

» Dates: 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 26

       

» Cost: $85 per person per tour. Register and pay via e-mail.

       

» Call: 388-9696

       

» E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

       

» Web site: haleiwafarmersmarket.com

       

» Notes: Participants who are at least 10 years old will enjoy these tours. Wear sunscreen, a hat or visor, and clothes and closed-toe shoes that you won't mind getting dirty.

       

 

       

TOUR STOPS

        Saturday

        » Waialua Estate Coffee

        » Twin Bridge Farms (asparagus, corn, peppers and squash)

        » North Shore Cattle Co. (grass-fed beef)

        » Waialua Estate Cacao

        » Lunch at North Shore Cattle Co.: grass-fed beef burgers; grilled asparagus, peppers, onions, squash and eggplant; salad of May's lettuce and vine-ripened tomatoes with Hawaii's Special papaya seed dressing; and a Waialua Estate Coffee dessert
       

Sept. 26
        » Marine Agrifuture (sea asparagus)
        » Tin Roof Ranch (chickens and eggs)
        » Poamoho Organic Produce (apple banana, lychee, tangerine, mango and more)
        » May's Wonder Garden (hydroponic lettuce)
        » Lunch at Poamoho Organic Produce: Nicoise salad of local lettuce, pan-seared ahi, sea asparagus, hard-boiled farm-fresh eggs, green beans, vine-ripened tomatoes, potatoes and parsley; breadfruit salad; artisan bread; and Poamoho organic fruit dessert with Waialua Estate Cacao chocolate sauce

       

 

       

THE HALEIWA Farmers' Market opened on April 5. Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1,000 shoppers peruse an enticing array of local wares at 50 booths. Think fresh produce, eggs, honey, grass-fed beef, plants, flowers and prepared foods (laulau, pastries, breakfast burritos and more). Also in the mix are health practitioners offering seated massage, chiropractic care and organic beauty products; artisans displaying jewelry, carvings, pottery and other handmade creations; and a booth dedicated to a local charity.

“;It's a meeting place for the community,”; Boyar said. “;We have a cafe where patrons can gather with their food and beverages, listen to live music and talk story. Our Keiki Korner offers free craft projects, pony-drawn cart rides and other activities for kids. We have festivals to celebrate a seasonal crop or a cultural theme. Vendors create recipes and value-added products highlighting that topic. We often have special attractions such as cooking demonstrations and book signings.”;

“;Green”; is the password here. Solar panels power musicians' amplifiers. Food vendors use bio-compostable plates and utensils made of cornstarch. At two Zero Waste Stations, customers divide their garbage into Pig and Worm Food, Bio-Compostables, Recyclables and Trash.

“;It's our goal to have an empty trash bin when the market closes,”; Boyar said. “;We want people to think about recycling, reusing and reducing what's in landfills. We're also dedicated to local growers. Only produce from Oahu is sold at our market. We require that sellers be growers. We visit their farms and observe their operations. Our mission is to raise awareness and appreciation for the farmers and the land.”;

To that end, the farmers' market will be conducting two tours this month in collaboration with Kamehameha Schools, its landlord and sponsor. Led by Boyar and Kapu Smith, Kamehameha Schools' senior land manager, each tour will include visits to four farms and a delicious lunch made from their products.

Participants will meet the farmers and become part of their lives for a day. For example, at Waialua Estate Cacao, they'll crack open cacao pods and learn how the mucilage-covered seeds are processed into fine chocolate (samples will be shared). At Tin Roof Ranch they'll collect eggs, listen to classical music with the hens and find out which composer is the chickens' favorite. They'll stroll through May's Wonder Garden and see how beautiful lettuce is being grown about three feet above the ground.

If these pilot tours are successful, the farmers' market plans to launch others spotlighting different segments of Oahu's farming community.

Ninety percent of Hawaii's food currently is imported. By supporting local farmers, Boyar believes more sustainable agricultural land will be made available.

“;We can then produce more of what we eat and not be so dependent on imports,”; she said. “;Many people don't know where their food comes from. We hope to connect them to the aina, to the land that gives us life.”;

 

Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based freelance writer whose travel features for the Star-Bulletin have won multiple Society of American Travel Writers awards.