Kauai Community College launches farmers market with Kauai farm bureau

Kauai Community Market will be held every Saturday at the Kauai campus

Kauaʻi Community College
Cammie Matsumoto, (808) 245-8280
Professional Development Coordinator, Kauai Community College
Posted: Oct 9, 2009

LĪHU‘E, Kaua‘i – The Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau and Kaua‘i Community College are partnering to open the Kaua‘i Community Market, a new weekend, value-added farmers market, that will launch on Saturday, October 10, on the Kaua‘i Community College grounds. The market will be held weekly on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the campus’ front parking lot across Grove Farm.
Based on a seed-to-table model that’s worked well elsewhere in the state, Kaua‘i Community Market will feature a wide variety of locally grown food products, culinary treats and value-added products, as well as agricultural and culinary demonstrations, events and information from Kaua‘i agriculture non-profits and school programs. The market is envisioned as a central gathering place where neighbors can shop for food from the garden, enjoy delicious local foods, “talk story,” learn more ways to cook and grow local ingredients, and connect directly with farmers from around the island on a regular basis.
Some highlights planned for the first weekend include a cooking demonstration by the Kaua‘i Community College Culinary Arts program, a tour of college’s Community Garden where organic produce is grown, delicious smoothies, taro burgers and kalua pork bowls from Hanalei Taro & Juice Co., fried green tomatoes and foods from the garden from Kaua‘i Fruit & Flower Co., fresh baked goods from Hanalima Baking, and a selection of fresh produce, cut flowers, plant starts, and value-added farm based products such as Moloa‘a Bay Coffee and Kunana goat cheese. Several nurseries will be on hand supplying plant starts, flowers, and ornamentals. A plant doctor from Kaua‘i Master Gardeners will be there to help consumers who want to start or enhance their own gardens.
“What makes this market unique is that it brings all the pieces together, from seed to table, to support buying and eating local,” said Melissa McFerrin, executive administrator of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau. “There has been such a strong public interest in supporting agriculture, and this is one of many ways we can do this as a community.”
Kaua‘i Community College was identified as an ideal site for the market because of its central location and ties to agriculture and culinary arts. The Kaua‘i Community Market concept is based on the highly successful Saturday market at Kapi‘olani Community College, the product of a partnership between the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapi‘olani Community College, which has become a model for similar Farm Bureau markets around the state. An advisory committee met regularly to help shape the market concept with input from the island’s farming and food industries, agriculture education and the business community.
“Kaua‘i Community College is the place where we are teaching others how to grow their own food and inspiring them to create plans for developing unique businesses out of what is grown in a garden or on a farm,” said Kaua‘i Community College Chancellor Helen Cox. “This is also a place where we are promoting a lifestyle that is sustainable—where growing our own food is a way of life. We support agriculture as a viable industry for Kaua‘i and members of the community who love to garden and want to grow their own food.”
“The goal is to start small but with high quality, so we can support the farmers to grow their businesses and create more opportunities for new products. It is something we should do as a Farm Bureau and a community,” said Roy Oyama, president of Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau and himself a small farmer. “This model has worked well and been tested on other islands, and we look forward to bringing its benefits to Kaua‘i.”
Kaua‘i Community Market applications are open to farmers, value-added product producers and caterers using fresh ingredients, agricultural commodity groups and nonprofits, and educational programs with a focus on agriculture. For more information and applications, contact Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Executive Director Melissa McFerrin at kcfb@hawaiiantel.net or call (808) 337-9944.