A ray of ‘Sunshine’

Local farmer Ted Javellana sells his produce at the Kapaa Sunshine Market every Wednesday in Kapaa.

The Molaa farmer sells a variety of produce depending on the season.

“Right now I’m selling corn and I have papayas and right now mangoes in season,” he said. “I got tomatoes during the spring months; onions during the beginning of summer; corn in the summer to fall; cabbage and broccoli in the winter.”

Javellana is among the 69 local vendors who produces locally grown produce and gets them in the hands of consumers without the need of a middlemen.

“The importance of it is that it gets food that’s local out to the community in a way that is reasonably priced without a middle person coming between where the folks have an opportunity to actually see the face of the farmer that’s grown their food,” said Marie Mauger of Spirit of the Earth Farms, a vendor at the Kapaa location for 17 years.

Javellana, like Mauger, has been selling his fruits and vegetables for almost two decades. In fact, he’s been selling produce since the Sunshine Market system was established in 1987.

“Kapaa was one of the first ones and Lihue Vidinha Stadium was the second one,” he said. “To find an alternative market to continue farming, other than losing the papaya industry altogether and we can’t export, this became a lifesaver for the farmers so we started to sell.”

Debi W. of Kapaa, a local Sunshine Market consumer for 27 years, buys flowers every week.

“These are important. These are essential,” she said. “ I support them and they support me.”

In her goody bag, Debi had lettuce, cucumbers, basil peppers, baby bok choy, papayas and bananas.

Jonathan of Nectar Farms, who did not give his last name, said money spent at the Sunshine Market stays on island.

“It’s good access: local support, the money is stronger when it’s spent in the community,” he said. “The farm I work on, the farm is very frugal and he does most of his shopping here on the island. When people shop from him, then he shops directly back with the local businesses.”

The Sunshine Market in New Town Park on Kahau Street opens at 3 p.m. every Wednesday.

If you’re a local farmer or gardener interested in selling your produce at the Sunshine Market, you may contact the Office of Economic Development at 241-4946 for more information.

Other locations include:

Koloa Ball Park on Maluhia Road every Monday at 12 p.m.

Kalaheo Neighborhood Center on Papalina road every Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Hanapepe Park on Puolo Road every Thursday at 3 p.m.

Kilauea Neighborhood Center on Keneke Street off Lighthouse Road every Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Vidinha Stadium on Hoolao road every Friday at 3 p.m.

Kekaha Neighborhood Center on Elepaio Road every Saturday at 9 a.m.

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