Blaisdell Night Market: Farmers markets keep blooming

WOW tomatoes at Blaisdell Night Farmers Market

The launch of the Blaisdell Night Market in June means I don’t have to berate myself for not getting out of bed early enough to make the KCC Saturday crack o’ dawn version. Now every Wednesday I can leisurely walk from work—it unleashes its bounty at the corner of Kapi‘olani Blvd and Ward Ave from 4 to 7pm.

WOW Farm scarlet tomatoes cried out to me. Licious Dishes raw-food spreads and crackers got me to shell out a lot of money for intensely flavored, healthy snacks. I am addicted to their “three-layer dip” made with avocado bits and cashew butter (the “sour cream”)—sounds like bland old-school health food stuff, but tastes like labor-intensive gourmet stuff. The onion cracker is like vegetable jerky—or imagine fruit roll-ups made with caramelized onions. Note: Licious Dishes is there only twice a month—on first and third Wednesdays.

I restocked on chili pepah watah at Stacy’s Laulau Co. booth. The kind you buy in the supermarket is more water than chili. Stacy’s is the real five-alarm deal. Wai‘anae’s Naked Cow Dairy is there selling flavored butters and pretty good feta cheese cubes—toss ’em with Kahuku Farms’ tomatoes, instant winnah salad! You can get immaculate, slug-free butter lettuce (hydroponically grown), eggplant, herbs, kalamansi, non-GMO sweet corn—I’ve cut down on my grocery store visits thanks to this new farmers market.

There’s more produce and prepared foods than plate lunch spots, which I like. But if you have to gorge while you walk, North Shore Cattle Co. is there selling great burgers. And the best local-style chili on the island can be had at Hawaiian Chili Co.—it has that hint of sweet us locals like (I miss Masa’s Massive Plate Lunch! They had the bess). Cheryl To is there making her refreshing PacifiKool fresh ginger ale, along with killer sandwiches.

It’s beautiful to see how Joan Namkoong and the Hawaii Farm Bureau‘s baby has grown so well. And what’s even more beautiful is that there is enough farming going on to stock all the venues. I’d like to see the numbers on acreage of land going back into agricultural production.

And an indie Thursday-night Makiki version—organized by Makiki Community Library, Parish of St. Clement and Fresh from the Farm—debuted on July 9 at St Clement church on the corner of Wilder and Makiki streets. See you at the next one on July 23, 4:30-7:30pm. From no choice in 2003 to a wealth of choices in 2009. That’s progress.

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