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Going local at Kapi’olani Community College

By Jayme Sumida

Early Saturday morning, patrons walk through the Kapiolani Community College Farmers’ Market. The KCC farmers’ market has grown to be the largest market on the island.

Every Saturday morning at Kapi’olani Community College, the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation hosts its weekly farmers’ market, which has grown to be the largest farmers’ market in the state.

Introduction

Every Saturday morning at Kapiolani Community College, the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation hosts its weekly farmers’ market. The KCC market has grown to be the largest farmers’ market in the state. The market has 65 vendors weekly selling everything from flowers to fruit, popcorn to plate lunches and everything in between.

Sanford Sasaki: “Local only”

Sanford Sasaki, KCC Farmers’ Market manager, explained that the market was established six years ago for the farmers of the island.
“In a sense you don’t have to go to a middle man; from the farm straight to the consumer, that was the idea,” Sasaki said.
Sasaki said that the KCC market is different from the other markets hosted by the farm bureau federation.
“One thing that is unique about this market compared to other markets on the island is that any produce must be locally grown,” Sasaki said. “So anything that is grown within the state is sold here.”

North Shore Farms: Homemade pesto

A popular vendor at the market is North Shore Farms LLC, which sells homemade pesto, neopolitan pizza and other baked goods.
Owner Jeanne Vanna explained that the ingredients used in making their pizza are all locally grown. Even the mozzarella cheese used in the pizza is homemade. Vanna used her theory of her tomatoes like the rush of waves in the ocean.
“We have an up and down supply, a wave,” Vanna said. They flush on and they back off like waves, so to sustain us we have our pizza.”

Naked Cow Dairy

Another vendor at the market is Naked Cow Dairy, which makes homemade butter and cheese. The company sells various butters including garlic herb, macadamia nut honey, coconut and pesto made from all local ingredients and produce.
Sabrina St. Martin, co-owner and chef of the dairy, expressed that sustainability and buying local is essential for the people of Hawaii, especially in times of need.
“It’s real important being sustainable because if something happens, Hawaii is isolated from everything,” St. Martin said.
St. Martin explained that since Hawaii is so isolated, in a natural disaster the only way to nurture ourselves is from products and ingredients from our own backyard.

Federation goes back to 1948

The farm bureau federation began in 1948 by a group of farmers on the windward side of the island. Two years later in 1950, the organization was officially established and has grown with 220 members with ten counties across the state.
HFBF is a non-profit organization with a movement for farmers to join together for the future of agriculture with the purpose of quality farming and the economy of the state.
“The last study we seen was that 75 percent of all produce is imported into Hawai`i, so we can generate more awareness to the public saying buy local, by fresh,” Sasaki said. “Then that percentage will go down in two years.”