Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hawaii: Hilo farmers market

This morning we went to the farmers market in Hilo, the largest town on the east side of Hawaii. In 2012, Huffington Post rated it as one of the ten best farmers markets in the U.S. What was particularly interesting for us was the huge selection of tropical fruits we don’t see at home, plus many Asian vegetables I had never even laid eyes on before.

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The Hilo farmers market is open every day from 7:00am to 4:00pm, with about 30 booths open. But on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the market expands dramatically to over 200 vendors, of which at least 150 are selling all manner of arts and crafts. I even saw booths for on-site massages, fortunetelling and the like.

Here are some photos I took. I would have taken more, but the market was crammed and I was juggling a bag of fruit part of the time.

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Bamboo shoots for cooking. Unfortunately, the sign didn’t say which species of bamboo.

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Lilikoi

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Lilikoi

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Even more lilikoi

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Watermelons, dragon fruit, pineapples, bananas, lilikoi…

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Freshly opened coconuts. I wish they had been chilled. Ice-cold coconut water is fantastic!

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Papayas

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Orchids

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Ladyfinger bananas

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Not pretty, but so tasty!

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White pineapple

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This brought a smile to my face

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I don’t know what the significance of this lava rock statue is, but it looked beautiful in a small fern grove

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Lush plantings in downtown Hilo

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Wabi sabi style Japanese lantern made of local lava rock

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If you get excited when you see a sign for ukuleles on an old building, Hilo might be for you!

We bought pineapple, papaya and lilikoi (aka passionfruit), some baked goods, as well as fabulous vegetarian tamales, which we had for lunch. Afterwards I whipped up a smoothie of white pineapple, local bananas and lilikoi—perfection! I think I’m getting used to this lifestyle!

10 comments:

  1. Looks like you're having a great time in paradise again! the produce looks gorgeous. We must go someday.

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    1. You'd go nuts there's so much to see for a plant lover!

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  2. Delicious tropical fruits, indulge indulge!!

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    1. We are! Last night I had freshly made lemonade with ginger and lilikoi. The ginger was so strong, I could feel it in my throat, but perfectly balanced by the lemon and lilikoi. Fantastic!

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  3. If you see a tall man with thick silvery hair at the Hilo farmers market, tell him I said hi. It's probably my brother who lives in Hilo. I'd much prefer staying in a beach house than his jungly one surrounded by aggressive wild pigs!

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    1. LOL, that practically describes half of the people I saw at the Hilo farmers market!

      The funniest moment at the market: Four half-naked young guys--neo-hippies, I call them--with tattoos all over their bodies buying stuff for a vegetable curry they were planning on making. Their focus on the curry was so at odds with their looks. It made me like Hilo even more.

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  4. Sounds and looks wonderful! 5 for $1? Crazy.

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    1. Yup, some produce is really cheap. Of course a lot of other things are frightfully expensive. People adapt, I guess.

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