KCC pilots Tuesday night farmers' market

[Update 8/9/12: The KCC Tuesday market has been extended. On 8/21, it will try out a new spot on the KCC campus, on the corner of Diamond Head Road and Makapuu Ave.]

In June, the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation (HFBF) started the KCC evening market in response to grumblings that the KCC Saturday market had gotten too crowded (mostly with tourists).

The pilot market is slated to run until August 14, but farmers’ market co-manager Lisa Asagi says due to positive feedback, the HFBF hopes to keep it going. They should know in a week the fate of the market.

I visited last week and, while the new market doesn’t have the variety and number of vendors that the morning market has, it also doesn’t have the crowds and claustrophobic parking lot traffic. There aren’t a lot of produce stands (I counted seven out of 30 vendors), and, as another shopper points out, no organic kale. Still, Ho Farms has some new summer squashes (an 8-ball squash, like a round zucchini) and tomatoes (including a purple one whose skin tastes like a plum). Other vendor highlights include young Big Island ginger, and Mari’s Garden, with aquaponically grown organic produce.

Local residents who have shunned the KCC Saturday market crowds are returning for the prepared food stands, which include The Pig and the Lady, Zaratez Mexicatessen, and Chef Hardy (the chef Hardy of Michel’s). New to the markets: Honolulu Burger Co, an outpost of the popular burger joint.

Still, you can’t keep secrets from the tourists: at least one small busload of Japanese tourists has found its way here.

To voice feedback or support of the market, email info@hfbf.org.

KCC night market, Tuesdays 4 to 7 p.m. at KCC. Check the weekly tip sheet for scheduled vendors.