New Farmer’s Mar­ket Now Open At Kaiser

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - EAST OAHU ISLANDER / FEBRUARY 3, 2010 / - By ALANA FOLEN

When it comes to buy­ing fresh and lo­cal, Hawaii Kai res­i­dents now have a new op­tion right in their own back­yard.

Linda Lau, a tire­less sup­porter and PTSA par­ent rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Kaiser High School, re­cently founded a farm­ers mar­ket on cam­pus. Her main goal, she said, is to keep lo­cally grown prod­ucts … well, lo­cal.

“It’s some­thing I felt was im­por­tant to have and some­thing I feel the com­mu­nity needs,” ex­plained Lau, who also serves as a home loan con­sul­tant. “I’m hop­ing the mar­ket will con­tinue on an on­go­ing ba­sis, be­cause I be­lieve it brings the en­tire com­mu­nity to­gether, and peo­ple get to know their neigh­bors and talk story.”

The farm­ers mar­ket runs from 4 to 7 p.m. ev­ery Tues­day on the lower cam­pus near Lu­nalilo Home Road. As a ven­ture Lau took on her­self, she’s man­aged to se­cure six ven­dors so far, in­clud­ing Na Ono’s Kahuku Corn, Ba Le (baked goods), ono­li­cious Thai cui­sine from Ploi Thai chef Olay Som­sanith, and a va­ri­ety of fresh pro­duce like green onions, bok choy and choy sum from Ot­suji Farm.

“ There’s been a great re­sponse from the pub­lic and ven­dors, but I kind of want to build my ven­dors to 10-20, farm­ers and nurs­eries in­cluded,” she said, adding, “The ma­jor­ity of ven­dors are on the Lee­ward side, but it’s dif­fi­cult hav­ing them come out to the East side. Some (peo­ple) aren’t aware, but there’s a bunch of farms and nurs­eries be­hind Kaiser High School.”

Ac­cord­ing to Lau, keep­ing ev­ery­thing grown and pro­duced lo­cally is a ben­e­fit to every­one. For ex­am­ple, the ven­dors are in­creas­ing their sales while at the same time pro­mot­ing healthy eat­ing for the en­tire fam­ily.

“We have our regulars that come ev­ery week,” Lau said. “They bring their kids, walk their dogs and bring Thai food home for din­ner. It’s be­come a fam­ily af­fair.”

The farm­ers mar­ket is spon­sored by the Friends of Kaiser High School PTSA.

To be­come a ven­dor or for more in­for­ma­tion, call 7832416.

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