Story and Photos by Katie Twaddle

The other day, I had the entire day to myself. The men (i.e., my three roommates) were off doing their own things and I had all day to mosey around the house and do whatever I wanted. I chose, despite the unusually cloudy day, to venture to one of the Farmers Markets on Kauai. Now, on Kauai, there are 15 different farmers markets held once a week each, in various locations across the island.  The one I visited was the Kukui Grove Farmers Market, held on Mondays only, starting at 3:00pm.

I was fascinated at the atmosphere of the Kauai Farmers Market. While it was one of the smaller markets compared to others I’ve seen, it was full of excited people.  From the hustle and bustle of shoppers, I got the feeling that the early-goers get the best grub. Speaking of grub: there were colorful displays of organic vegetables and tropical fruits galore.  And it wasn’t the typical old tomato, mango, and cucumber for sale. There were things being sold that I had never seen, much less heard of. And the sizes were unbelievable!  How big is the largest avocado you’ve ever seen? Well, I saw one that must have weighed 8 pounds. Guacamole, anyone?

However, this is no weight contest. The quality of produce was incomparable to what you would normally find at the local grocery store. Try some beautifully ripened, pink mountain apples, yellow apple bananas, kumquat, and rambutan. There were some classic favorites as well: Kauai-grown pineapple, mango, papaya, lemons, limes, oranges, spinach, kale, arugula, and eggplant, just to name a few. And how about some bright yellow and orange tropical flowers? The sweet old woman sitting on her tailgate is sure to give you a good price. At the farmers market you become witness to a unique part of Hawaiian culture, and that is the mixture of many cultures. While walking through the little market, passing booth after booth, I heard the languages of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Hawaiian cultures. I heard a lot of Pidgin English to. I felt as if I were in another country, Was I really in America in the parking lot of a K-mart? Yes!!!

So I left satisfied with my produce and anxious to visit a different Farmers Market next week. I also left with a red tongue because I couldn’t resist the shave ice stand.

For information about Kauai, visit Na Pali Coast Magazine

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