Our visit to Ma’o Farms and the KCC Farmer’s Market in Hawaii
As part of our research, Farm to Table Guam staff visited Ma’o Farms and the KCC Farmer’s Market in Hawaii. Ma’o operates completely as a non-profit. All of the work is done by volunteers fresh out of high school. In exchange for their hard labor on the farms, they receive a small stipend and tuition assistance. Some of these young people have been so committed to the program that they become training interns for new recruits under the Youth Leadership Training Program. These kids wake up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning to go to the KCC Farmer’s Market to sell their organic produce that numbers more than 40 varieties. Michelle Obama is planning a visit to the farm for a third time.
KCC Farmer’s Market is a beautiful market that features all local produce: honey, cacao beans and nibs, ginger sodas, lavender soaps, pizza made with local basil, an omelet station that makes omelets with free-range local eggs, and produce stands selling persimmons, organic lettuce. To be a vendor there is a simple requirement: Sell local produce, or sell something that you’ve made with local produce.