Farmers Market CoverThe University of Hawai‘i recently teamed up with farming experts in the state to come up with a guide to boost agritourism and food sustainability in the state.

UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and UH Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service collaborated with five farmers market and agritourism managers to craft a Hawai‘i-specific best practices manual.

Hawai‘i Farmers Market and Agritourism Venues: Best Food Business and Food Handling Practices for Farmers and Vendors is based on solid experience from people who run some of Hawai‘i’s best farmers markets,” says CTAHR’s Jim Hollyer, who funded the project with resources from the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Development Corporation.

The 36-page cookbook-style manual is an easy-to-read rapid reference for new and experienced vendors at farmers markets and agriculture tourism venues.

“We did extensive research on similar guides and tested out and refined the content with two panels of experienced farmers market vendors, so we know we have a useful educational tool,” said Luisa Castro, the project coordinator for the manual from UHH.

The farmers market manual covers marketing and food safety in significant detail, illustrated with dozens of photo examples. Contributors represent all Hawai‘i counties, different organizations, and a variety of markets.

“We looked for experience, market leadership, and a willingness to contribute all they know from our co-authors, and we are pleased with the collaboration,” Castro said.

Co-authors include Melissa McFerrin Warrack of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau; Nancy Ginter-Miller of Produce to Product, Inc.; Pamela Boyar of FarmLovers Farmers’ Markets; Lani R. Weigert of Hawai‘i Agritourism Association; and Neil Coshever of Upcountry Farmers Market, in addition to Castro and Hollyer.

Copies are being distributed to each island by the authors, and additional copies can be obtained from Luisa F. Castro at UHH ( / (808) 974-7664) to bona-fide market vendors.

The manual can also be downloaded for free at