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Residents and visitors congregate at the Kaka‘ako Farmers Market weekly to enjoy food, fresh produce, and music

Mar 14, 2016

From Farm to Market

Although the sun is just beginning to shine overhead and most of Honolulu is still nestled in bed, an eclectic mix of vendors are busy setting up shop at Ward Warehouse for the weekly Kaka'ako Farmers' Market.

By the time 8am rolls around, the market will be abuzz with activity. Some patrons are hunting for the freshest local produce, grabbing a pillowy croissant just pulled from the oven, or meandering through dozens of booths while chatting with other shoppers and friendly merchants. Others are enjoying Sunday morning breakfast under a tent as a Hawaiian band belts out local tunes, electrifying the atmosphere.

Across the country, there's been a powerful resurgence of farmers' markets as communities make concerted efforts to support local businesses and buy their produce from local farms. And for good reason: Not only are you supporting your neighbors and keeping money in the local economy, you're ensuring that you're receiving the freshest fruits and veggies of the season. In addition, by shopping at farmers' markets for local produce, you're also minimizing the impact on the environment. On average most food consumed in America travels more than 1,500 miles before arriving at a local supermarket, but in Hawai'i 85 to 90 percent of our food is imported and has an average travel distance of 4,500 miles. Plus, fresh food equals delicious food and when you shop at a farmers' market, you know exactly where your produce is coming from; now who wouldn't want to support all that?

On O'ahu, you won't have to venture far from home to find a bustling market serving up everything from root vegetables to freshly baked bread to gourmet bentos. And while there are more than a few farmers' markets to choose from, the Kaka'ako Farmers' Market offers such a wide breadth of choices—all of which are grown right here in Hawai'i—that it's hard to pass this one by. To make it even more appealing, you won't have to deal with the headache of searching for parking. Between the free spaces at Ward Centre and Warehouse, parking is an absolute cinch.

"Coming to the Kaka'ako Farmers' Market is definitely one of our favorite things to do as a family," says Lauren Williams, owner of The Wedding Café, located in Ward Warehouse. "There's so much to see and so many delicious things to eat. We just love coming here as a family on Saturdays. It gives us an opportunity to do some shopping, tire out our son, Eames, and spend quality time together."

With a vibrant and vast selection of vendors composing this classic open-air market, the only problem you'll face is losing track of time and forgetting what you came to purchase. That's why we recommend making a list. Here's what's always on ours: 1) Pastries and freshly baked and yeasty breads from Baker Dudes 2) Vegetables from MAO Organic Farms 3) Hard-to-find Asian vegetables and exotic fruits from Otsuji Farms. Of course, we always allow lots of room in our bags for other goods we didn't even know we needed.

"One of my favorite things about coming to the Kaka'ako Farmers' Market is being surprised by what I find," said Jordan Higa of Honolulu. "Of course, I'm always on the lookout for fresh tomatoes and bananas, but I love stumbling across a new stand selling amazing gluten-free baked goods or cold-pressed juices. I love how well curated this market is and how I don't have to stress about parking and worry about it being overly crowded. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning."

The Kaka'ako Farmers' Market is held at Ward Warehouse every Saturday, rain or shine, from 8 am until noon. Ample parking can be found around the property.

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Kaka‘ako Farmers Market

1050 Ala Moana Blvd

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