The state of Hawai’i imports roughly 85% – 90% (by most estimates) of its food. This leaves Maui in a somewhat precarious situation. First, if for some reason we were cut off from the mainland, it wouldn’t take long for there to be massive food shortages. Second, when the cost of shipping is factored in, the food here is really expensive. Well, this is where Maui’s burgeoning organic, local farm industry is stepping in. Maui’s fertile soils produces amazing fruits and vegetables. While most of it can be found in local grocery stores and shops, the best way to access it is by the old standby, farmers markets. Thankfully, Maui has a robust farmers market scene. Every town has their own version. No matter where you are on Maui, you aren’t too far from a farmers market. Here is a list of our favorite markets.
Maui Swap Meet (Wailuku)
Saturday, 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM
University of Hawaii Maui
Since 1981, the Maui Swap Meet has been the biggest and most celebrated farmers market on the island. With over 200 vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, baked goods and just about every knickknack you can imagine, if you visit just one farmers market on Maui, this is the one. There are also plenty of food trucks and vendors serving hot food, too, if you don’t want to wait to get home to cook up the fresh veggies you just purchased. There’s a nominal $.50 fee to enter. Children under 12 are free.
Upcountry Farmers Market (Kula)
Saturday, 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Kula Malu Shopping Center
The most refined farmers market on Maui, here you’ll find the freshest vegetables you’re likely to come across. With all of the farming upcountry, it’s no surprise that the market is laden with vegetables, fruits, flowers and craftier items like honey, kombucha, pickles and food vendors selling raw and vegan items. [Upcountry Farmers Market]
Napili Farmers Market (Napili)
Wednesday and Saturday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
4900 Honoapiilani Highway
Usually sporting 15 – 20 vendors, you can find a little bit of everything, but the focus is on locally grown, non-GMO produce and locally made products. Among the more interesting vendors you may see are Lahaina Organics, who make reef safe sunscreens and freshly made kimchi by Napili Flo Farm. [Napili Farmers Market]
Kumu Farms Market (Waikapu)
Monday – Saturday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Maui Tropical Plantation
A true farmers market, everything sold at this stand was grown on the Kumu Farms. The fully organic, non-GMO farm, sits on 60 acres of fertile land in the shadow of the West Maui Mountains. Depending on the season, you’re likely to find everything from parsley and mint to macadamia nuts and pineapples to avocados and apple bananas. There are 35 different crops in all. If you’re hunting for bargains, on Saturdays many of the prices are reduced.
Hana Fresh Farm Stand (Hana)
Daily, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Hana Highway between mile markers 34 and 35
Everything sold from this stand is from the Hana Fresh Farm. Hana Fresh is a key component to the Hana Health initiative, a health and wellness center in Hana dedicated to helping the local community, in particular native Hawai’ians who may not otherwise be offered healthcare due to financial, cultural and/or geographical reasons. The farm is seven acres and organically grows over 100 different crops. Proceeds from the sales go towards supporting Hana Health programs and services. [Hana Fresh Farm Stand]
By the way, did you know that you can now save $10/person on our Maui Princess Dinner Cruise or a Snorkel Adventure to the island of Lanai? Well you can! Just use the promo code VIP20 after clicking on this link: Hawaii Ocean Project Adventures.