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|Oahu's KCC Farmers Market|
|Written by Ann Shepphird|
I've said it before and I'll say it again: One of the best ways to get to know a community when you're traveling is to visit its farmers market. That's especially true on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, where the KCC (Kapi'olani Community College) Farmers Market is the place to be on a Saturday morning (left) -- both for locals and for visitors staying in Waikiki (a 10-15 minute drive away). Offering local produce, flowers (including gorgeous orchids and hibiscus), honey, fish and prepared foods (including some from KCC's Culinary Arts Program), the KCC Farmers Market is one of five markets run on Oahu by the Hawaii Farm Bureau, which prepares a tip sheet each week to help navigate the more than 60 farm stands at the Saturday morning market. Staying in a hotel limits the buying possibilities -- for instance, based on our visit a few weeks ago, there were many gorgeous flowers being taken home by locals and the most popular stand was Big Island Abalone. But even for visitors, there are a lot of great options.
There are three coffee stands: Koko Crater Coffee Roasters, which has the premium spot right near the entrance, for those that are in major need of a caffeine fix (like we were), Keopu Coffee and Aikane Coffee. Other favorites included two local honey stands: Rhea's Hawaiian Honey (which offers samples and where we bought some amazing macadamia nut and organic cinnamon honey) and All Hawaiian Honey Coop (which has the best t-shirts and from whom we bought the Christmasberry Honey). We also loved the green juice from Otsuji Farms, made with kale, greens, beets, fresh pineapple, lemon juice and apple juice; the fresh island ginger drinks from PacifiKool; and the fresh roasted corn by Na 'Ono at the Kahuku Farms stand. Again, with 60-some stands, this is a major farmers market and not only a wonderful overview of the abundance of Hawaii's local offerings but a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Another plus is it's located right across from the entrance to Diamond Head State Park, for those who feel fueled up enough after the farmers market to make the trek up to the top of Diamond Head and take in the beautiful views (above).