I have previously written about a new (but actually, extremely old) concept in food consumption, the “100 Mile Diet,” where locavores eat only what is grown within a 50-mile radius of where they live.
Especially to us out here in the middle of the Pacific, it makes perfect sense to reduce the amount of energy expended to get food onto our plates—it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and benefits our health and local economy.
But recently, I ran across another approach that takes “eating local” to a whole new level. Sunset magazine urges us to try The One Block Feast. This “Adventure in Food From Yard to Table” details the Sunset staff’s efforts to create meals made from ingredients grown, processed and prepared in the vacant lot right outside their offices.
I am “green” only with envy of their excess time and large staff of locavores devoted to complete food self-sufficiency—at the office, no less—and especially the mouthwatering dishes they created, such as Butternut Squash Gnocchi With Chard and Sage Brown Butter, Fresh Corn Soup With Zucchini Blossoms, Honey Ice Cream…
I’m afraid our newspaper staff here in South Maui would not fare as well. For those who are not the quintessential Kīhei homesteaders, the very best way to obtain local fruit and vegetables is from nearby farmers’ markets or roadside garden stands.
Maui is fortunate to have many skilled farmers and gardeners who offer a variety of fruits, vegetable and value-added products for competitive prices every day of the week at various locations from Kula to Kīhei and Honokōwai to Hāna.
Look for labels and signs indicating items are grown on Maui, or simply ask the market staff. Some of the venues offer organic produce, fruit and veggies exclusively from Maui, while others also carry greens or grains grown on other islands or the Mainland.
Although many grocers also sell Maui-grown items, you can mix the business of making dinner with pleasure by browsing for gifts at many of Maui’s upscale venues, such as the Mā‘alaea Farmers Market & Craft Fair next to the Maui Ocean Center, the Maui Open Marketplace at Maui Tropical Plantation, the Līpoa Street Farmers’ Market in Kīhei, the Upcountry Farmers’ Market in Kulamalu, and of course, the gi-normous swap meet at UH Maui College.
For a current list of farmers/crafters markets, visit mauifoodweb.org/farmers-markets. One trip to a farmers’ market might be the beginning of a beautiful—and healthy—relationship.