Welcome to Hawai'i Homegrown!
Building local, sustainable food communities on Hawai'i Island
• Find others for buying, selling, sharing, and learning | Farmers Markets
• Empower yourself and your community to become food self-reliant | Reports
• Learn about events, resources, happenings, and locally grown food | Events
• Keep yourself informed through our monthly newsletter | Newsletter archive
It's all free and abundant, so dig in!
Home Grown Hawai'i Store with owner Michael Scott
It is encouraging to see the different ways individuals are taking on the challenge to make locally grown and produced food available in their own districts of the island.
About six or seven months ago, Michael Scott of Ocean View, a member of the e-mail Yahoo group Big Island Self Sufficiency (BISS), in which I am also quite involved, mentioned that he and his wife, Melanie Baca, were working on plans to open a location next to their own Aloha Dreams computer business to sell produce and other fresh goods in Ocean View.
After doing research, obtaining permits and procuring the use of a commercial kitchen, Home Grown Hawai’i opened its doors on Saturday, September 1st with a Grand Gala featuring music, an owner hosted barbecue and displaying produce and product from 12 different sources. Local vegetables, greens, herbs, fruit, coffee, eggs, homemade breads and other baked goods, jellies, jams, preserves, raw local honey, butter and feta cheese are just some of the items that can be found in the store.
Michael has a commercial fishing license and a fish dealer’s license, so the store is able to sell fresh, locally caught fish and also buy fish wholesale from other fishermen. The fresh fish is sold on the same day it is caught and surplus is canned in Mason jars, also available for sale.
Their plan is to increase their supplier base as more farmers and backyard gardeners learn of this outlet. One of their goals is to reach anyone with small or large orchards or gardens who would like to have a way to share their excess. At the moment they hope to be able to find farmers growing dragon fruit, local melons, carrots, potatoes, onions, squash or pumpkins, and locally grown spices.
On our first visit in early September, just days after the opening, the store had a small under-the-counter type refrigerator to hold the eggs, cheeses and other items that needed refrigeration. By the time of our second visit, just three weeks later, a large glass fronted commercial refrigerator had been installed and a new cooling system was also being installed in the retail space to keep the produce from wilting.
Focusing on zero waste, the store will not be using plastic bags except when necessary for wrapping fresh fish.
During a recent interview, this is what Michael Scott had to share:
Sonia R. 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 http://soniatasteshawaii.com