By Kaiya Arias de Cordoba
Seventh-grader at SEEQS charter middle school in Honolulu
| On Oahu, which is part of the Hawaii island chain, there are many different community gardens and farmers’ markets. Because we are an island, a trip to the grocery store is very expensive since food must first be shipped. Locally grown produce is not only less expensive but it is also healthier since everything is so fresh.
The community garden program was started by the City and County of Honolulu in 1975 to provide garden plot access to people living in Honolulu’s densely populated communities. Community gardens are a simple and beautiful concept: help neighbors share their love of gardening while they grow their own fresh produce. Oahu is blessed with many community gardens scattered across some of the island’s most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods. On these fertile rented plots of earth, neighbors come together to swap gardening tips, compost the soil and harvest their produce.
The farmers’ markets take place several times a week at locations all over Oahu. Food producers, farmers and local culinary masters gather at malls, in parks at school and in parking lots to sell fresh produce and other agricultural products. The local farmers’ markets offer residents and visitors alike locally grown Oahu products such as North Shore beef, Manoa honey, Kahuku corn, Waialua chocolate, Waimanalo greens and more! Most farmers’ markets also offer Oahu-style snacks and recipes from food booths that serve everything from soul cooking and lilikoi mochi to gourmet plate lunches and regional cuisine made famous by Oahu chefs. You can also buy fresh flowers and a variety of handmade products at most farmers’ markets, and a few even provide entertainment.
Use the interactive map below to find a community garden or farmers’ market near you.
About the Author
Kaiya is a seventh-grade student at SEEQS (School for Examining the Essential Questions of Sustainability) charter middle school in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is an aspiring actress, avid supporter of the LGBQT community and an advocate for change. In her spare time, she loves to sketch, travel and have fun with family and friends. She also invests much of her time on her Back to School Foundation, a not-for-profit entity that raises and donates 2,000-lbs of clothing to provide back-to-school shopping opportunities for the children of Hawaii’s underserved families.