Sun Apr 22, 2012, 04:15 PM
ellisonz (27,172 posts)
LAT: Agritourism takes off in Hawaii
Farmers markets with tropical fruits. A cattle ranch. A cacao farm. These are becoming visitor favorites, in addition to the luaus and beach days.
By Russ Parsons, Los Angeles Times
April 22, 2012
HANALEI, Hawaii — It's a warm Tuesday afternoon on Kauai and tourists are lining up — just a few at first, then a dozen or so. Finally more than 100 have gathered, waiting patiently. They're not here to swim with dolphins, snorkel in turquoise waters or even learn to hula at a luau. They're here for a farmers market.
Manager Kalen Kelekoma climbs atop a wooden crate and welcomes the throng with a warm "aloha" and an explanation of the market rules. Then the horn sounds, and they rush the stalls. Some head straight for the obvious draws on this hot day — ice-cold coconuts and soursop ice cream. Others start grabbing tropical fruits they rarely get a chance to taste on the mainland — rambutans, longans, lychees and mangosteens. Some buy salad greens and broccoli.
Agriculture has become a tourist draw in Hawaii, which imports about 85% of its food but used to export almost everything it grew — tons of pineapples and sugar cane. In just one week on the islands, I slept on a farm, toured a coffee plantation, learned how chocolate is grown and much more. Yes, the beaches are a draw — snorkeling at Two-Step on the Big Island was unforgettable. And sure, some people still want to see hula and go to a luau.
But visitors are also looking for — and finding — another kind of experience, and local farmers are happy to supply it.
2 replies, 1316 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
LAT: Agritourism takes off in Hawaii (Original post)
Response to ellisonz (Original post)
Sun Apr 22, 2012, 06:21 PM
formercia (18,479 posts)
1. What's wron with this picture?
We did pretty much the same things when we visited the Big Island and wondered why all of that good agricultural land that used to grow Sugar Cane was being sold for development, instead of growing food for the local population.
Hawaii could grow all of the food it needed, instead, the people buy the same crap they eat on the Mainland.
...and we wonder why the Planet is going to the dogs of War.
Response to formercia (Reply #1)
Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:24 PM
ellisonz (27,172 posts)
2. What's wrong with this picture is a couple things...
1. The price of water has gone way up as a result of increasing demand and drought: Star Advertiser Story from 2010
2. The price of land similarly continues to rise.
3. Shipping into Hawaii is practically a monopoly and very expensive for all the equipment you need to run a farm.
The combined result is that for many things it is cheaper to ship into Hawaii than to ship interisland or even cross-island for both importing equipment, fertilizer etc. and for exporting product.
The agriculture that is blossoming is doing so despite these factors aligned against it's success. Simply, it's cheaper to import frozen food from the mainland than to produce it in Hawaii.