This Saturday, July 29, will mark the soft launch of a farm stand conceptualized by the Lanai Chamber of Commerce.
“[We] were motivated by one thing, and that’s access to high-quality, locally produced food for the entire community,” says David Leon, member of Lanai Chamber of Commerce. “The farm stand is a community-centered representation of models that support food sovereignty. And I’m always in favor of more opportunities to increase access to all the nutritious, whole foods produced here and across the state of Hawaii.”
The farm stand was developed as a way to make it easier for Lanai independent growers to bring their produce to the community. Oftentimes, it’s hard for farmers to take time away from their work to plan for and attend farmers markets. “So, the farm stand idea was to consolidate all that produce for the farmers, bring it to one place, and be the retail execution,” says Leon.
Plans for the farm stand include gathering feedback from the community on what types of produce they hope to see in order to supply local growers with actionable insights. The Chamber also intends to build pathways for gardeners at home and at the Lanai Community Gardens to be able to easily offer their produce to the community and make a little extra money for all their efforts. Lastly, they’d like to see Lanai integrated into the growing Food Hub networks across Hawaii. “These islands have the capacity to feed everyone who lives here. We all have a role to play if we’re intentional about the food system we want,” says Leon.
On Saturday, August 12, the community can look forward to the start of the Saturday Market, a partnership between Lanai Community Association (LCA) and the Lanai Chamber of Commerce. The Saturday Market will feature the farm stand, along with prepared foods and retail and craft vendors.
“Members of the community were wanting to see it come back,” says Kay Okamoto, president of Lanai Community Association, when asked why LCA decided to restart the Saturday Market.
“We hope people will be happy and support all the vendors,” says Okamoto.