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The Mid-Week Market at Anna Ranch
The Mid-Week Market at Anna Ranch opened in mid January of this year and it has already become a destination as well as a landmark. Located on the grounds of Anna Ranch in Waimea, in just a couple of months the market has almost filled to capacity. Vendors are selling locally-grown fresh produce, coffee, fresh baked bread, refreshing fruitsicles; Peruvian tamales and made-on-the-spot French style crepes from Le Magic Crepe Pan with fillings of your choice; Nancy Botticelli is offering beautiful handmade cards, another vendor has colorful homemade aprons in several styles as well as locally produced honey; and ‘The Orchid People’, Jennifer Snyder & Bob Harris, have a beautiful display of their blooming plants.
There is also a masseuse and a chiropractor offering their services; a face painter in the middle of the open square; and live musical performances on both ends of the grounds. Vendors participating are mostly from the Hamakua and Kohala areas but there are some who come from Kona. Vicki Dunaway, one of the market’s 4 managers would like to see fresh seafood and other non-green produce on a regular basis.
The grounds of Anna Ranch are a wonderful way to showcase this market. While there, be sure to stroll the garden areas. During our visit white daisies, blue alliums and orange daylilies were blooming profusely and providing a cheerful, colorful frame for the Mid-Week Farmers Market. A variety of fruits, including delicious figs (in season); sweet onions (similar to Vidalia), Spanish onions, tender haricots verts (French green beans and other vegetables; and fresh eggs are available through Vicki and Charley Dunaway of Malanahae Farms. Vicki and Charles established Malanahae Farms in Honoka’a just a couple of years ago, but between them have had many years of experience farming previously in Illinois and Virginia. Malanahae Farm uses sustainable practices and organic methods but they are not certified.
The Dunaways want to promote other Hamakua growers and producers with their market booth, and at this time they offer fresh hamburger, steaks, roasts and special orders of meat cuts from JJ‘s Market in Honoka’a and fudge from the Hamakua Fudge Shop. They also will be representing other producers as they find those who meet their locally-grown and made requirements.
David & Tammy Touchet, owners of Palani French Bakers were represented by David on the occasion of our visit. Located in Kawaihae for the last year, the Palani Bakers have been making artisanal breads for about 27 years. hey also make pastries and are becoming known for their chocolate croissants.
On the day of our visit their board listed a selection of baguettes; plain French round, oregano-Parmesan, rosemary-alae clay salt and whole wheat-honey; basil pesto fougasse, pain de mie sandwich loaf, 5 grain pain de Campagne, and cinnamon-raisin pain de Campagne. Brioche rolls, croissant pain de chocolat and Viennese pastries completed the menu for the day.
Hawai‘i White Mountain/Javaloha Coffee is well represented in David Steiner’s booth. Located in Pa‘auilo mauka, the 2,300 foot elevation farm has been in operation since 2003. Although using sustainable growing methods in the rich and deep loamy soil, the farm is not certified organic.
David sells his Javaloha brand medium roast and his Mauna Kea Peaberry coffees. Listening to David speak about his love for the farm is to learn a bit of history. “The land had many old coffee trees on it and I was fascinated with the history of coffee on the Hamakua. The original trees brought from Guatemala were planted about 1/4 mile from my farm in the late 1800’s. I fell in love with the idea of offering something I had made from the ground up. Hand crafted by my hands. I have been getting very kind feedback and winning awards for the taste of the coffee and feel so lucky that the trees love the land so much. Farming anything is tremendous amounts of hard work, but its fun. And that makes it all so much easier.”
Comments from the vendors, when asked about the market and their location, were all complimentary: from location (beautifully landscaped, high visibility from highway); to time (middle of the week presence); to diversity (20 truly unique vendors with a great mix to offer). One vendor went on to say it takes usually 8 months to a year for a new market to become established and yet the vendors at the Mid-Week Market at Anna Ranch feel they have accomplished it in just a few months.
Mid-Week Market at Anna Ranch
Wednesdays, 12:30 – 5:30 pm
Location: 65-1480 Kawaihae Road, Waimea
Sponsoring organization: None
Type of Market: Local foods, crafts, and services only. We do not allow vendors to resell commercial produce
Date started: Jan 19, 2011
How Funded: Vendor fees
Cost per stall/booth: $15-20 per week, plus annual fee. Extra if electricity needed.
Growth since started:
a. Number of vendors: Started with 9, now ~20; Anna Ranch trustees say we have to cut off at about 25.
b. Increase in income: Too soon to say; very variable each week
Geographical range of vendors: Mostly Hamakua and Kohala; a couple from Kona.
a. Range of products: Veggies, fruits, herbs, eggs, meat, processed/value-added, orchids, coffee. Also some crafts – jewelry, handmade cards, homemade aprons. Chiropractic and massage.
b. Best selling products: Not yet known.
Foods in short supply: We need more non-greens type of vegetables, but many are out of season right now. We’d love to have a regular local seafood vendor. We may soon also have more prepared food vendors.
Other special features: Face painting and live music.
Sonia Martinez, the Hawai'i Homegrown Food Network regular farmers market reporter, is a cookbook author and freelance food writer for several publications in Hawai'i, including The Hamakua Times of Honoka’a. She is a contributing writer for Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine and has her own food & garden blog at soniatasteshawaii.com