Early birds walk briskly to the Saturday Farmers' Market. At 7 a.m., the Kapiolani Community College parking lot is already filling—a half-hour before the market officially opens for business.
The market entrance just before all booths open for business.
At 7:29 a.m., customers at the front of the line at Nalo Farms booth have already picked out the produce they wish to buy and are waiting for …
… the 7:30 a.m. blast of an air horn signaling that sales can commence at the farmers' market.
Orchid plants for sale.
Sales go fast.
Now you see them …
… Now you don't. The scene at the same orchid booth an hour later.
Our first of several food booth stops.
Crisp panko-crusted fried green tomatoes seasoned with sea salt.
Another HAWAII Magazine editorial staff "Best of Hawaii" pick: delicious strawberry mochi from Saturday Grandma's. "The best omiyage your friends back home don't know they want yet."
Strawberry mochi revealed—sweet, soft glutinous rice cake, stuffed with sugary azuki bean paste and a fresh, plump whole strawberry.
Saturday Grandma's dark chocolate truffles wrapped in mochi.
Didn't last long with my co-photographer.
The Taro Delight booth.
As you can see, the proprietor of this booth was fond of getting crazy creative with taro.
Fried polenta with sweet chili-oil dipping sauce.
Spent much time at Kukui Sausage Co.'s home-style sausage booth where everything on the menu could be sampled before buying.
Guess who was most proud of the Kukui's signature kimchee sausage?
As well he should be. Served hot from the grill in a sweetbread hot dog bun, Kukui's kimchee sausage was one of the market's best tasting and most popular food offerings.
Live music to shop and nosh by.
The best liquid refreshment to fight the market's warm morning sunlight. Fresh ginger ale lemonade (front) and Thai ginger iced tea from the PacifiKool booth. The company's specialty is its Hawaii-grown ginger syrups.
Didn't last long after this photo was taken.
Everything sold at the Saturday Farmers' Market must be grown or produced in Hawaii.
Guess what MA'O Organic Farm's motto was.
The crowd 'round 8 a.m.
North Shore Cattle Company's 1/2 pound hamburgers, made from fresh-ground Island-raised beef, took a long time to grill.
But they were worth the wait!
The best way to sell your plate lunches?
Show customers exactly what they're getting.
Walk around. Buy food. Sit down on the grass to eat. Walk around again.
Our Saturday Farmers' Market bounty: cilantro, baby bok choy, mangoes, heirloom tomatoes, ogo (seaweed), mochi truffles, strawberry mochi, pineapple lavosh and kimchee sausage.