Showing posts with label Farmers Market. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farmers Market. Show all posts

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rise and Shine! Visiting the Upcountry Farmers Market

Visiting the Upcountry Farmers Market is a way to experience the sheer joy of having a garden or farm without all the work!  It’s like drinking a jolt of green wake up juice that gives you a gentle but firm energy boost. All this green growing energy runs through your veins and arteries and you feel wonderfully alive, like a young plant shooting up to greet the morning sun.

Yup, it’s early, so if you like to sleep in late, this is probably not your farmers market. But if you can get there by 7 am, you bright-eyed, bushy-tailed early bird you, then you’re in for a treat. Warning: If you get there past 8 am, there’s the risk that some of the goodies are sold out. For the best selection, get there at 7 or even before. You can grin at all the late comers with the satisfaction that you got to see the market in its full glory. If you get there later, don’t despair. The market has become so good and popular that many booths are still open at 9 am or so.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Makawao Farmers Market - Moved!

The Makawao Farmers Market has a new location on Olinda Road.
It moved two weeks ago.
The market calls itself the original Makawao Farmers Market 

because the location they used to have, 
in the empty lot across from Rodeo General Store, has been taken over by a new vendor, 
who supposedly doesn't sell local produce.

This market is still on Wednesdays, from 10 am to 2 pm,
on the grounds of historic Po'okela Church on Olinda Road.
I got there kind of late, after 3 pm,
because I totally forgot that it was Wednesday
and I happened to be in Makawao and saw the signs for the market.
Best to get there way before 2 pm as the vendors like to pack up early,

 especially if they are sold out.
It's the same group of vendors from the old location on Baldwin Avenue.
Kale farmer Debbie explains that
the market also outgrew its original location...
with more and more vendors.

It's a great location with plenty of room.
To join the market, contact Debbie at 808-419-1570.
She said I was welcome to post her number online.
Debbie also organizes the farmers market at Maliko Gulch

which will now be open on Mondays instead of Saturdays.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Queen Ka'ahumanu Farmers Market

Overhead view of the Queen Kaahumanu* Farmers Market. 

A traditional farmers market is held at Queen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from about 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. When I say traditional, what I mean is the kind of farmers market with traditional style local vegetables and fruits that represent the plantation cultures of Maui. These are fruits and vegetables with a decidedly local and Pacific heritage, including Filipino, Japanese, Okinawan, Hawaiian, Samoan, perhaps even Puerto Rican or Chinese. 

While mainland style vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, and zucchini are easily available here, there are also a lot of ethnic items like

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Half Baked Turkey Thoughts: Locally Sourced Thanksgiving?

Maui doesn't have any turkey farms, at least none that I know of, so it's not possible to have a truly locally sourced Thanksgiving meal. We do have some pig farms, like the Ahupua'a Pig Farm in Haiku. But the pork is not commercially available. It's not on store shelves. You have to buy a whole pig, arrange to get it taken to a slaughterhouse, of which there are some on Maui, and then have a place to store the meat. Nor is local chicken available on store shelves, although some people raise broilers, chickens for meat, as opposed to layers, which are hens who lay eggs. Venison, while plentiful, is still not on store shelves, despite Lokahi Sylva's efforts to make it more available.

Nothing like a half baked turkey for Thanksgiving!

This is the second year we've obtained a free range turkey from Mana Foods. It's not organic, but it's not fed sewage sludge or mystery meat. I do notice a difference in texture in the meat, compared to a Butterball turkey. The free range turkey is not as tender, and I account this for 1- either my cooking technique  or 2 - the fact that Butterball injects its turkey with a special solution of brine and flavorful things that make it taste really darn good. Maybe I don't want to know what they inject in the turkey.

DH loves turkey, so not only does he want to have turkey on Thanksgiving, he wants to have turkey before Thanksgiving, after Thanksgiving, and basically all month long. I end up roasting a turkey well before Thanksgiving so he can get in the mood and then last night, we went to the Maui Farmers Union locavore potluck meeting which also had turkey. Then we have a late Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I try to stuff him with as much free range turkey so that he won't eat as much of the conventional stuff on Thanksgiving. I'm not sure the plan's working, but he likes it.

How to make this free range turkey more flavorful?
That's what has me scratching my head. Last year, I stuffed it with the same recipe I have been using for the last few years, a Martha Stewart recipe, which is fabulous for a Butterball turkey, but didn't have much effect on the free range turkey. I'd include a link, but can't find it online.

I talked with a Southern gal last Thanksgiving and she said in the south, they always inject their turkey with butter. Okay, that's what I did this year.  Went to Del's Farm Supply in Kahului, bought a veterinary needle, and melted some butter, and injected about 1.5 oz in eight or nine places in the bird. I didn't bother to do any research, which hindsight being 20/20, would have been helpful. As I write this, I found a site that talks about injecting turkeys with flavorful marinades. The author says to do several small injections rather than a few big ones, like 40 instead of 4. Another site says to inject the turkey 12 hours before cooking. That might have been helpful. And it didn't use butter in the injection liquid. It's also difficult to suck liquid into the needle without getting air... I had to use a lot of pressure to do this, and still got air.

Yup, a veterinary needle from Del's, which can be used
to inject marinade, or butter, into a turkey.

What happened?
I used the ceramic stone ware from a very large crockpot to cook the turkey in. This is called a crockpot liner. I had heard on a cooking show that it's possible to cook in a crockpot liner and they are oven safe, but I wasn't sure if all brands are oven safe, or if it's only up to certain temperatures. So I cooked at a lower temperature, 350˚ instead of starting out at 450˚ for the first hour, since I didn't want to crack the ceramic lining. It was the only pan I had that was big and deep enough for a turkey. I injected the turkey with butter and stuffed it with half a lemon, cut up onion, lemongrass, etc. to infuse the inside with flavor. While the turkey wasn't local, at least everything inside of it was.

Mixture of local items to stuff into the turkey, to add flavor: basil, onions, lemon, lemongrass, Hawaiian chili peppers, big leaf oregano. Loosely based on Martha Stewart's Herb Roasted Turkey.

I didn't allow enough cooking time for the turkey for dinner and I was so stubborn, I just wanted to cook the turkey anyhow.  So, I committed the faux pas of cutting into the turkey before it had quite finished cooking - the thermometer wasn't at 175
˚ in the thickest part of the thigh not hitting the bone - and it was still better than last year's attempt, and still chewier than a Butterball turkey. I had done the other normal turkey things - taking out the giblets and neck, rinsing the turkey, letting it come to room temperature, tying back the wings, using foil to not burn the top of the turkey, adding liquid to the pan... but the turkey didn't have time to sit in its moisture for a half hour after cooking, and I still think that's important. Where I cut into the turkey also got dried out, but I just soaked it in the liquid in the pan.

Turkey being cooked in a crockpot,
finally reached the magic temp of 180˚.

Anyhow, I'm already tired of turkey. I still believe in the free range turkey idea... and next year will try brining the turkey and also injecting it... What the heck? If I keep practicing on DH, I'll at least have my turkey roasting skills current. Honestly, the first turkey I ever roasted was the best... it was a conventional Butterball, but I'd rather eat a non-factory farm turkey.

Update 11/24: The free range turkey was really 'ono (delicious) a couple of days later. Even I was chowing down some breast meat. It was tender and had good flavor. So I don't feel too badly about how it turned out, but I think I'll try injecting it 12 hours prior to cooking next time.

Are there other items on Maui that could be locally sourced for Thanksgiving?

1. Sausage for stuffing - if you got your own pig and made your own sausage, you could do that. Or if you know someone who makes sausage. I only know one person, and he won't sell it... You could buy Portuguese sausage in the store, but the pork I believe is from the mainland. I do know someone who makes and sells venison sausage.
2. Bread - forget local wheat producers here. Get your flour from the mainland.
3. Sweet potatoes. Yes! Plentiful in stores and farmer's markets. The ones in the chain grocery stores may be from the mainland.
Some local sweet potatoes, not the purple Okinawan variety.
This unknown variety is not that sweet, so it's more potato-ey.

4. Potatoes - that's tough. Maybe Kula Farmer's Market has local potatoes. Chef Susan Teton says to substitute taro for potatoes. 
5. Green beans for green bean casserole - those are locally grown
6. Cranberries - forget it... no one grows cranberries here. I suppose one could try using poha berries to make a cranberry sauce, but they wouldn't look the right color - but.. by adding purple panini, (prickly pear) it would definitely turn a rich burgundy color. That's an idea - making purple prickly pear mock "cranberry" sauce.
7. Pumpkin - yes, there are local Hawaiian pumpkins here and kabocha squashes, and all variety of squashes that are grown locally.
8. Pecans - no, but they would grow in Kula.
9. Apples - I haven't seen them locally, but have heard there is a local apple farm in Olinda.
10. Onions - yes, Maui sweet onions are plentiful.
11. Brussels sprouts - haven't seen them grown locally or commercially but they could grow in Kula. Cabbage does grow well on Maui, so does zucchini - but in higher elevations.
12. Mushrooms - Oyster mushrooms are grown on Maui.
13. Eggs - yes, plenty of local eggs are available.
14. Green peppers can be found on Maui. Red peppers are usually imported.
15. Celery - Susan at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Farmers Market says her celery is from Kula, that her family leases farm land and grows it there. Other farm stalls say that the celery is local and comes from Oahu, but I am very skeptical that it's grown on Oahu. Oahu doesn't have good conditions for growing celery - it's not as elevated as parts of Maui. I think it gets sent to Oahu from the mainland and is distributed to the other islands.
16. A lot of farmers markets on Maui have local items, but you have to ask, and sometimes the vendors don't really know. They will say the item is local since it's shipped from Oahu, but it doesn't mean it was grown on Oahu.

You may also like to find out how to make a raw cranberry sauce or more local farm ideas on cooking turkey, using Thanksgiving leftovers.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Subtropical Mountain Apples

Mountain apples are not true apples, anymore than pineapples are true apples. They don’t taste like apples either; they are somehow fragrant, a little like a flower, and the texture is kind of starchy and fibrous, like a soft jicama or an Asian pear that’s spongy. The taste is mildly sweet, but not overpowering. Seeing them reminds me of childhood trips to Sacred Falls on Oahu, where I used to find them along the hiking path. Sadly, Sacred Falls is now closed because of a disastrous rock slide a number of years ago.

A bowl full of mountain apples. They are quite a bit smaller than regular apples, more like the size of crab apples. 

I’ve seen mountain apples recently only twice, once at Mana Foods, where I bought these specimens recently and also today at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Farmers Market. I haven’t hiked nearly as much on Maui as on Oahu, so there are lots of places on my bucket list to explore, places where I suspect mountain apples grow freely. And maybe mountain apples are seasonal too, like lilikoi or mangoes.

A cross section of a mountain apple without a seed. 

The strange thing about the mountain apples I bought were that there was no big seed inside. So, I suspect the ones I got were somehow hybridized, because there’s no way they can reproduce. The mountain apples from childhood were always refreshing after a long hike on a hot day and the round black seed would get firmly munched around and then tossed along the hiking path to grow into another tree. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

La'akea Farm Stand in Pa'ia

Farmer's markets and farm stands are all over Maui, sprouting up even in people's front yards in Kahului. Though to be honest, I've only seen one farm stand in someone's yard - I think it was somewhere off Wakea Avenue. 

Banners for La'akea Farm Stand
The La'akea Farm Stand is not on a well-traversed road, since it's on Baldwin Avenue about 3 miles up from the intersection of Hana Highway (in Pa'ia town). It's at least a mile further from the One Love  Farmer's Market at the old Pa'ia Train Station. I don't have the exact GPS coordinates to give you.  Just look for signs on the left side of Baldwin Avenue as you are heading uphill from Paia to Makawao. 

What makes La'akea's Farm Stand different from other farmers markets or farm stands?

  • It supports the La'akea Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit, which helps adults with special needs. 
Information on La'akea's mission. 

  • Another key difference with other stands is that there are coolers which hold leafy greens and vegetables that may otherwise wilt. 
Coolers with vegetables at La'akea Farm

  • There is a garden or farm at the stand, with veggie and fruits growing by the booth. 
Bananas and papaya trees growing at La'akea Community Farm. 

  • Lastly, this is an organic farm stand, and the produce is local. Some farm stands have some mainland or imported produce. You have to ask - and sometimes the vendors won't know for sure - like they will say, "Oh, we get that from Oahu." But that doesn't mean the produce is local. It could be shipped from the mainland, consolidated and distributed from Oahu. 
A short video of La'akea Community Farm Stand:

Items that can be found at La'akea include:
sweet potatoes, turmeric root, eggs, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, avocados, lilikoi (passionfruit), green beans, coconuts, tomatoes, pineapples, onions, Hawaiian salt, jicama, eggplant, and other produce in season.

Hours are Monday - Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pie Happiness

It was an atmosphere of indulgence and festivity. A smorgasbord of pies. Pies for every mood and whim.  A few people were restrained and only sampled a few slices. As for others, let’s just say there’s a special place for the sinners of gluttony. Good thing I’m not Catholic. But my tummy did protest vehemently later that day. The 2nd Annual Maui PieTweetUp was a success. 

Pies in a state of being de-pied. 

Pies were fantastic. Varieties included raw pies, gluten free pies, cream pies, phyllo pies, mini pies, and even a pizza pie!  Sweet pies outnumbered savory pies, by at least 4 to 1. Sweet pies included sweet potato pie, lilikoi tart, lemon pie, lime pie, mango pie, apple pie, cherry pie, berry pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie and countless others. Savory pies included sausage, cheese and apple pie, quiche, quinoa pie, pizza pie, beet and veggie pie, roasted tomato handheld pies, Thai chicken curry pie with homemade coconut cream from a freshly opened coconut, and steak and kidney pie. 

Roasted Tomato Handpie - photo courtesy of @CPstout and @mauiplantgirl.

Every pie had a story. My favorites included the roasted tomato mini pie, the lilikoi tart, and a peach (or nectarine) flat pie. There were others that I also loved, but their names are a blur now – a creamy lemon or lime pie, a pie with a hint of rosemary…

Pie smorgasbord. 

The idea was to bring a pie with as many local ingredients as possible, and I expected predominantly local produce, so that would normally rule out apples, most berries, cherries, and chocolate, but again… all these things are available locally, but are not common.  I would have liked to have included some local potatoes in my pie but it was too hard to obtain them.  I’m not sure what percent of each pie was local, but once the pies were sliced and beckoning, it didn’t matter too much.

Fruit pies

DH insisted on having a steak and kidney pie. It’s kind of a guy pie, and I didn’t expect it to be popular. Indeed, my biggest compliment was from a friend’s husband. The steak was Maui beef and the local kidneys were from DeCoite packing house. No potatoes, so I pulled up a young taro plant from the garden and used a Maui sweet onion, a local chayote squash to make up for potatoes, local burdock to make up for not having local carrots, and slices of green papaya to help soften the chuck steak.

Maui steak and kidney pie - designed to make you grow hair on your chest.
Not for the faint of heart.

Getting to the pie tweetup was a misadventure. Sort of like going over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house. I had printed out the address and directions from the tweetvite, which was Kohea Road off of Polipoli Road. We arrived at an area with several homes and farm processing equipment, but nothing that looked remotely like a pie eating event. I spotted some workers behind a house packing onions into a big machine and they said it was down the highway. Ah, so it was at the Kula Country Farm booth, which we had passed earlier, and I had simply assumed the event was at their “official address.” 

Kula Country Farms Store

As we drove down Polipoli, we saw other cars round the bend and wondered if they too were looking for the wrong address. But once we arrived, everything was just dandy.  Tables were set up under open air tents, and decorated with local strawberries.  There were plates and forks and napkins and handy wet wipes for pie smudged fingers. Special thanks to Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine and Marilyn Jansen Lopes who greeted arrivals and offered gifts, including Kula made strawberry syrup, handmade cards, and a chance to win a farm tour. Kula Country Farms was very wonderful to host the event. For more photos, visit this pie pics page
Produce at the Kula Country Farm Store, which is a great farmer's market. The strawberry syrup was given to early arrivals at the pie tweet up.  

Within 20 minutes, the pies were actively coming in, and also disappearing quickly. Most pies arrived within the first half hour but later pies kept showing up. Most people were there specifically for the pie event, but a few others just happened to stop by the farm booth and got invited in, since there was so much pie to share. I had fears that one pie wasn’t enough and had made a second back up pie, a gluten free mango lilikoi pie that ended up staying home, and will have to be divvied up among friends. As the pie tweetup can attest, pie is best eaten shared. 

Creamy chocolate fruity pie. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Maui Nui Farm - Kula Farmer's Market

Road signs for the Farmer's Market on Lower Kula Road,
near Pulehunui Road. 

This is an awesome farmer's market. I used to go to Nui's booth in Kahului, at the Farmer's Market behind Ah Fooks, and also at the Kmart, when there used to be one there. There's a good variety of veggies and fruits, and the lettuce and greens are very fresh. 

Thursdays and Sundays, 9 to 5 pm, Lower Kula Road (before Kula Hardware). 

Lots of papayas for sale. 

Maui Nui Farm flyer with useful info.

Citrus, carrots, and dragoneye (longan) fruit.

Protea bouquets
Wide variety of lettuces and greens. 
Oyster mushrooms. Button and other mushroom varieties also available. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haiku Farmers Market New Hours

Haiku Farmers Market (as they were closing that day)

Update 2013: This market is now defunct.

I finally found out the new hours for the Haiku Farmers Market, actually more like a farm stand, at least as of a couple of weeks ago. Karen of the farmers market said they started up again a week before Christmas last year, and are being run by the folks of Rainbow Jo clothing company. They feature local and unsprayed produce, as well as veggie starts and potted herbs.  

Current hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. They are located at the same place the original Haiku Farmers Market was - across the street from Colleen's, next to Northshore Cafe, down that long driveway by the electrical station.  There is usually a big sign on the road when they are open. 

I hope to get some more pictures of different kinds of produce. Eventually they plan to offer $20 weekly veggie boxes available for pickup on Mondays. 

Update 12/1/12: Haven't seen this farmers market in a very long time. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Best Lumpia on Maui

Nona of J N J Catering poses with her lumpia.

Lumpia is the most delectable Filipino dish to me, more so than other well-known Filipino dishes like pancit, a noodle dish, or adobo, a tangy chicken or pork main dish. I'm not even Filipino, but a good lumpia will set my mouth watering.  More slender than an egg roll, the best lumpia is crispy and golden on the outside, and yet, not too greasy.  Like an egg roll, it is filled with shredded vegetables and finely ground meat, but is crispier than an egg roll because there is more fried surface area per bite.  Oh, there is also a sweet version, banana lumpia, which is stuffed with banana and deep-fried as well. 

Lumpia is one of the ultimate deep-fried foods on the planet. And, it's not scary!  So many Filipino foods are really cultural tests... checking to see if the eater is brave enough to eat those foods, checking to see how much Filipino blood one has.  For more on that, read my post on balut. Lumpia is friendly, approachable, and yummy to eat.

The best lumpia I've had on Maui was at the Green Dragon Farmer's Market in Wailuku, on the corner of Lower Main Street and Waiehu Beach Road, opposite Jack in the Box. 

Green Dragon Farmer's Market, open daily
 J N J Catering (phone 808-205-1051) has a booth with plate lunch options, and offers both banana lumpia and vegetable lumpia (with meat).   At $2 for 3 vegetable lumpia, I was hooked.  Nona the chef, offered a choice of two sauces: sweet Thai chili sauce (not hot) or a vinegar flavored with hot peppers. Both are good, but the vinegar sauce helps to cut out the grease from the deep-frying. 

If you are in doubt with a Filipino menu,
lumpia is usually a good choice.
I eagerly bit into the first lumpia and was in heaven.  I managed to save one piece of lumpia for my husband, and then ended up going back a short time later to get another order of lumpia.  They were that darn good. In fact, they were ono - the Hawaiian word for delicious. I'm hooked. Anytime I'm in Wailuku, it's an excuse to stop by and see if they have any lumpia that day.

Banana lumpia is on the left, vegetable lumpia is on the right.

Is there better lumpia out there? Maybe, but I'm not related to anyone Filipino, so it's not like I can just wander into an auntie's or cousin's house for dinner. 

Where else can you get lumpia?

Pukalani Superette sells it in the hot deli section.  There are some food booths at the Maui Swap Meet on Saturdays, or some Filipino lunch places scattered on Lower Main Street in Wailuku, and maybe Happy Valley. But I can't recommend that most people wander into Happy Valley - despite the name, it's considered a rough neighborhood, especially if you can't speak pidgin.  Certain church bazaars or local festivals may have a Filipino food booth.  I've also seen it packaged in the frozen section of most supermarkets.

If the lumpia sits too long, it seems to feel more greasy, so best to eat it fresh and hot.  Cold lumpia is as enjoyable as cold French fries.  As much as I like lumpia, it's also not something I would eat all the time, so for me it's a special treat. If you've lived on Maui, and don't know what lumpia is, you are missing out.

Update 12/1/12: Haven't seen J & N's lumpia at this farmers market in a long time. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Farmers Market Opened in Haiku, resuming 11/15/11

Update 2/26/12: An aquaponics farmers market is now in this space.  

Update 12/1/12: Haven't seen this farmers market in operation for a very long time. 

Update 12/29/11: I did see a couple of signs for a new farmer's market in the same location, but didn't get a chance to stop. I haven't seen any new signs lately. 

Update 11/22/11: I haven't seen any sign of the new farm stand... so I'm not sure what's going on. Nor have I seen any farmer's markets at the Kmart parking lot. Hmmm....

Update 11/4/11: I found out that the market will reopen on 11/15/11 with a new farmer at the stand. Darlene, who was running the original stand, got her permit and has moved her operation back to Kmart. 

Haiku, Maui - A new farmer's market has opened across the street from Colleen's, just to the side of Haiku Zen Sushi/North Shore Cafe. Just follow the long driveway.  The market opened on Sunday, 9/4/11 and will be open every day from 7am to 4 pm.  It was even open on Labor Day. Technically, it's more of a farm stand... since it's all provided by one seller.

There are plenty of local vegetables and fruits, including green beans, Kula spinach, avocados, cabbage, papayas... all the usual farmer's market offerings.  Plus some mainland offerings like potatoes. Items that are local, have the words "local" or "Kula" written above their prices. Kula is a town further up on the mountain, which provides much of the local agriculture on Maui. Kula is well-known for Maui sweet onions.  Prices here are comparable to other farmer's markets and farm stands around the rest of the island.