Mililani Farmers Market serves up ono food and local produce

Jade Eckardt

MILILAN—Plate lunches, fresh sunflowers, and locally made healthy treats like flax seed cookies were up for sale at the Mililani Farmers Market. The market, which one Mililani resident calls “smallish but very busy,” brings Mililani residents together every Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Mililani High School (MHS).

The market, which had about 15 booths set up, was buzzing with shoppers toting reusable shopping bags and loading them up with fresh baked bread and vegetables. The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and Mililani High School have come together to cosponsor the market that is held in the parking lot by the MHS gym.

“This market is a step in the right direction. It’s an important thing to be teaching our children, it’s at a perfect location, a high school, so that our children are aware of the importance of supporting local businesses,” explained a Mililani High mom.

A vegetable vendor without many veggies left by the time I got there explained that she sells out of most of her veggies each Sunday. “There is a lot of people who choose to shop for their produce once a week at farmers markets,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of customers at all the markets I set up a booth at tell me they don’t shop in the supermarket for vegetables anymore.”

Island wide there is indeed a growing trend to support local businesses and buy products at their freshest. And it’s not just vegetables, the Mililani market has fresh local dairy products from the Naked Cow Dairy, fresh flowers and potted herbs and other plants, local honey products, snacks, and local condiments.

“I like how it’s sort of ironic that the market is placed directly across from Wal Mart and big time supermarkets,” said Ann, a new Mililani resident, adding, “[The market’s] the exact opposite of them. It’s locals supporting local businesses and getting the freshest food possible.”

Some market goers come to socialize and browse, picking up whatever looks appealing that day. “It’s a fun thing to do on a Sunday, a nice way to end the weekend. I go and see some neighbors, my daughter sees friends from school and we buy some snacks to take home,” said May who has been going to the market for two years.

Other people go with a grocery list in mind. “I go to get the BaLe breads. They are very well made and much cheaper than in a store. I also pick up all my vegetables on Sunday,” said Jin, a longtime Mililani resident who walks to the market every Sunday with her granddaughter.

The Mililani Market is still growing, and although the market may not boast the largest amount of tents at each time, the list of vendors who alternate Sundays between other markets is long. “It’s a nice surprise. You don’t know exactly what you will get on a Sunday, but its always a good variety,” said Jin, adding, “But we do always know the staples will be there, like vegetables and fruit.”

Mililani Farmers Market monthly vendors:

-Aunty Nani’s: An assortment of delicious cookies.
-Ba-Le Bakery: Artisan breads and baked goods.
-Fresh From the Farm/ Hawaiian Chef: Fresh Maui produce, prepared foods, bottled sauces, and dressings.
-Hawaii’s Best Brittle: Macadamia nut and coconut brittle
-Hawaii’s Homemade Taste: An assortment of delicious cookies.
-Hawaiian Style Chili Company: Kim Chee Fried Rice, chili and rice, soups, garlic shrimp plate, prune mui, and taro mochi.
-Hawaii Honeybee Co-op: local honey products.
-Hawaii’s Best Brittle: Macadamia nut and coconut brittle.
-Herbaceous: An assortment of potted plants, dried herbs and fresh herb wreaths.
-Island Paradise: Hauula low sugar jams and jellies, chutney and BBQ sauce.
-Latitude 22: Premium Dark Chocolate & Pumpkin Bread infused with Dark Maui rum. Lavosh. Gluten-free scone mixes. date/flax seed, cranberry/walnut, mango/pumpkin/pecan oat cakes; doggie biscuits,  Swiss Inn salad dressing.
-Maunawili Greens: Hydroponic red leaf and butter lettuce, and sprouts.
-Naked Cow Dairy: Fresh butter and herb butter spreads, cheeses.
-Nalo Farms: Dean’s Greens, braising greens, tatsoi, variety of fresh herbs, Kamiya papayas, Molokai sweet potatoes, organic ginger, and much more.
-Pat’s Peanuts: Fresh, boiled peanuts.
-Penny’s Orchids: Orchid plants.
-Popcorn Express: Fresh popped kettle corn in assorted colors.
-Rainbow Farm: Kona avocado, Sunrise and Rainbow papayas, Manoa lettuce, green onions, eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and other fruits and vegetables.
-SKA Tropicals: Apple bananas, tropical cut flowers.
-Stacy’s Lau Lau: Ono lau lau.
-Starpoint Catering: A variety of baked goods.
-Vilath Farm: Asian greens and herbs, squash, Manoa lettuce, tomatoes, bittermelon, apple bananas, melons, papayas and other fruits and vegetables.
-Vixaysack Farm: A variety of Asian vegetables, cucumbers, papayas, pineapple and melons.