Hamakua Harvest starting Sunday farmers market in Honokaa

Lori Beach, Liza Franzoni, Michael Gibson and Julia Meurice are launching the new farmers market in Honokaa on Sundays. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON | SPECIAL TO NHN)

Elemental Plants Owner Michael Gibson has had his hands full the last few years, usually with dirt from growing a wide variety of plants and trees.

But he’s also been knee high in the Hamakua Harvest project he founded in 2008. This Sept., it will commence with the opening of their new Sunday farmers market in Honokaa.

Gibson is known for his booth at the Hawaiian Homestead farmers market, where he sells flora and offers valuable gardening tips to a consistent line of loyal customers. His expertise will continue at the new Honokaa farmers market located at Hamakua Harvest, on the corner of the Hawaii Belt Highway (Hwy 19) and Mamane Street (Hwy 240) Hwy. There, Gibson secured a 30-acre lease from Kamehameha Schools for all components of the project.

“We will be able to accommodate 36 vendors and want to round out the vendors according to products from Waimea and as far away as Hilo,” Gibson says.

The farmers’ market co-managers are Liza Franzoni and Julia Meurice. Lori Beach is the project’s administrative director.

The market will be the first component of the overall Hamakua Harvest project to be built out over the next several years. As a community gathering place, it will also include a full-service retail nursery; a demonstration working farm and learning center; a compost facility; an agricultural processing facility and a farm-share program for district youth.

“The priority will be on Hamakua producers, as our core mission is to facilitate and incentivize farming in the district,” Gibson says. “Over time, we will be growing a wide range of fruits and nursery materials for the market and will be providing space for a youth CSA which will likely offer subscriptions at the market.”

He adds, “We are interested in attracting anyone, from young to old, who want to have a more intimate relationship with the aina in any of many different ways.”

For more information on how to be involved in Hamakua Harvest call 640-2506, email [email protected] or go to www.hamakuaharvest.org/.

To participate in the Honokaa farmers market contact Liza at 345-1919 or [email protected], or Julia at [email protected] or 203-903-1696.

The market will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays weekly beginning Sept. 6.

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