UPDATE (Nov. 27, 2012): The market is now located in Waimea Valley every Thursday from 3-7pm.
UPDATE (May 27, 2012): The market has two more weeks to find a new home. Last day is June 10, 2012.
UPDATE (April 15, 2012): The state extended the market’s deadline to remain at its current site, giving them two extra weeks from the original April 10 date. By yesterday (April 15), more than 1,600 people had signed the online petition for the market to remain until a new location is found.
Sundays have become a bazaar for farmers on the North Shore of Oahu. They gather every week on the seventh day, rain or shine, to share their locally-grown crops at the Haleiwa Farmers’ Market. Before the sun awakes from its Saturday night slumber, they’re under their pop-up tents loaded with homegrown goods. They’ve been doing this for the past three years and watched as the market steadily became an icon within the local and visiting communities – an icon that may have outgrown its habitat.
Ripened cherry tomatoes add color to the Haleiwa Farmers’ Market.
This Sunday, instead of selling the usual lot of organically-grown produce and freshly-churned butter, they’ll be rallying to save the market from disappearing.
The state recently issued a notice to vacate the 2.5-acres of land at the intersection near the famous Haleiwa signs. They say the area is actually zoned for agricultural use and not business. Keeping the market at its present location would put the state at risk for lawsuits.
This came as a surprise to market owners, Annie Suite and Pamela Boyar, who have been longtime advocates for local farmers in Hawaii. Before the notice, the Haleiwa Farmers’ Market used the property rent-free on a month-to-month basis. Today, they will meet with the state to seek an extension until they can relocate the market elsewhere.
Hats off to the market owners and vendors for their dedication to the mantra, “Buy Local.”
Every Sunday, more than 2,300 people show up to the market in search of North Shore gems. The rows of pointy tents have become commonplace for those passing by. It’s one of the first spots I take visiting relatives because they enjoy the scenic drive from town and stock up on what seems like a year’s supply of local jams/jellies. A few of my friends make their living at this market, while others like, Rexann Dubiel and her Surf Dog, contribute to the laid-back North Shore vibe and set up activities for children meandering the market alongside their parents.
The Haleiwa Farmers Market has become a staple of the north shore community as well as a proud, successful vending establishment. It’s beneficial for the local economy and healthier for the consumer. To see it go up in smoke seems like a waste of potential. Hopefully, Annie, Pamela and the rest of the vendors can come to some sort of agreement with the state so that Oahu doesn’t lose one of its island treasures.
SAVE HALEIWA FARMERS’ MARKET • Rally at current market location: Sunday, April 15, 9am-noon • To learn more about the issue or to sign a petition in support of the market, go to: www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-haleiwa-farmers-market/