Bring cash and a box or bag to stock up on fresh, local ingredients at Waialua Farmers Cooperative Market. Waialua is known for its thriving entrepreneurs and artisans who make world-class surfboards, silkscreen fashion, handmade soaps and island-style chocolates and lemonades. Dozens of vendors and retail outlets attract many North Shore residents and visitors who like to shop fresh and experience all that Hawaii has to offer.
When visiting this iconic country town, make sure to stop by the Waialua Cooperative Market located at the old sugar mill. The chronicled landmark is hard to miss and there is plenty of parking. Historically, the sugar mill was put into operation in 1865 and by 1991 the mill was producing eight percent of sugar in all of Hawaii as the Waialua Sugar Company, a subsidiary of the Dole Food Company. Today, this sugar mill serves as an industrial park for Oahu’s North Shore residents and visitors.
Every Saturday, locally grown vegetables like eggplant, cucumber, and zucchini are showcased at this cherished market in the countryside of Waialua. Lustrous and colorful fruits like jabong, dragonfruit, mountain apple, lychee, star fruit and papaya glimmer on the tables. Air plants, succulents, and landscape plants are also alluringly displayed at great prices. Each farmer, equipped with years of experience and knowledge, will be happy to discuss the care of each plant.
When shopping at the Waialua farmers market keep an eye out for pineapple, bananas, and avocado. Mix these ingredients with sweetened condensed coconut milk and ice in a blender. The outcome is a creamy, delectable summertime treat akin to ice cream. Shop for your groceries at this laid back market and while you browse, pick up smoked ahi, teas, baked goods, freshly made jellies, local honey and syrups. These farmers provide you with great value for the produce that they grow, and it is a great way to keep Waialua country produce in Waialua. If you are a fan of farmers’ markets, but not too keen on the crowds, this intimate market is for you. Waialua Farmers Market radiates a calm presence welcoming locals and visitors alike. The small market environment allows you to talk story and build relationships with the vendors and gain understanding of their products. Find everything you need from produce and art to antique goods at the Waialua Farmers Market.
If you are searching for Hawaiian staples such as kalo, ulu or uala, make sure to pay Mohala Farms a visit. This 6-acre regenerative non-profit farm based in Waialua, sets up shop and displays lemongrass, parsley, basil, rosemary chives, oregano and thyme. Along with, dragon tongue beans, turnips, radishes, tatsoi, tomatoes, cherries, and lilikoi. Lead farmer, Mark Hamamoto, has a background working with nonprofits and faith-based communities for the past 20 years. From 1995 to 2000, he worked at the Hoa‘aina O Makaha farm and initiated an Organic Agriculture project. He states that the mission of Mohala Farms is “grounded on the life-giving qualities of the land and a village-model of mutual cooperation and local self-sufficiency.”
This small market attracts vendors with big, personal callings. Farming sustainably is rightfully a hot topic in today’s conversations, and Hukilau Farms, founder of North Shore Microgreens, will share an immense amount of insight with you. They are passionate about sharing recipes and delivering fresh, quality microgreens from arugula to sunflower greens for the community. Among the many offerings, a spicy mix consisting of broccoli, kale, arugula, kohlrabi, and red cabbage is a local favorite. Buy microgreens at Waialua Cooperative Market, and help the farms’ personal mission to create a model of farming that uses less electricity, fuel and water.
The Farmers Cooperative Market is a hidden gem behind the old sugar mill that deserves to be enjoyed by many. Whether you are looking for an adventure or a quick stop, you should definitely check out this market the next time you are in Waialua.
Waialua Farmers Cooperative Market
67-106 Kealohanui Street, Waialua, HI 96791
Vendor contact: 808-637-3131, https://www.facebook.com/waialuafarmerscoopmarket/
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