Searching for local produce with a minimal eco-footprint? Look no further than the Hale’iwa Farmers’ Market, which claims — convincingly — to be Hawaii’s greenest.
Hale’iwa Town is located on Oahu‘s legendary North Shore, in the heart of the big-wave surf scene. Its market is open every Sunday from 9pm to 1am, and aims to be Hawaii’s first totally green, zero-waste market.When I visited, more than 40 vendors had laid out their finest fresh produce, crafts and prepared foods. Most came from the North Shore, though a few items came in from elsewhere on Oahu or neighboring islands. I cruised along the rows of stands and bought a mango and pineapple smoothie that had been blended using the market’s solar power. The smoothie and the avocado sandwich I went for next were both served to me in corn-based disposable containers — unlike their plastic cousins, my containers were biodegradable.
In the midst of the vendors I found the Zero Waste Station, where the market’s trash was sorted. Food scraps go to a local pig farmer, the disposable dishes get composted, glass and cans are recycled, and a last — hopefully unnecessary — bin takes any remaining garbage.
Hale’iwa’s market may not be on wheels, but its commitment to minimal waste puts it on the cutting edge of American farmers’ markets. If you can tear yourself away from the surf (and the surfers), it makes a great Sunday breakfast or lunch stop on Oahu’s North Shore.
Check out the gallery below for some shots from the market. Fresh produce fanatic? Gadling has more farmers’ markets recommendations for you.
[Disclosure: My visit to the Hale'iwa Farmers' Market was part of a trip sponsored by the Oahu Convention and Visitors' Bureau. Nonetheless, my opinions about the epic rightness of blending mango and pineapple together are my own.]