Hug a Farmer! Farm Day 2019

marketOne of the best ways to spend a lazy weekend day, is to venture out to one of your local farmers’ markets. Breathe in some fresh air, taste delicious fresh food, mingle with locals, and pick up some healthy produce for the week ahead.

The benefits of directly purchasing your food from a farmer are numerous, and Edible Hawaiian Islands magazine is asking folks from around the globe to participate in their 2019 Farm Day, on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Take a farm tour or shop at a farmers’ market anywhere in the world and share your experience through social media using the hashtag #eHIFarmDay19.

If you’re wondering why you should participate in Farm Day, here are just a few reasons to encourage you to get inspired and share in the fun.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Buying locally produce drastically reduces the waste associated with packaging and transporting produce. The agricultural industry significantly contributes to the world’s pollution, so buying local helps you save the environment in a tasty way.

Access to fresher produce

Farm to table fruits and vegetables are as fresh as it gets and your taste buds will thank you! You’ll find less expensive produce that is organically grown and better for you.

Get fresh air and sunshine

Hello vitamin D! Boost your levels of the sunshine vitamin, vital for good bones and immunity. Get some exercise by walking around and discovering new local foods and artisan wares.

Get social and interact with the community

Farmers’ markets are a great way to meet new friends, and catch up with old ones. Learn about new foods and share recipes with vendors and other shoppers.

For those who really want to up their game on Farm Day, visit a local farm for an educational agricultural tour. Many regions of the world specialize in certain types of produce and touring the land is a great way to learn more about what grows locally in your area.

For example, the state of Hawai’i has unique crops not grown in any other states. Coffee, vanilla, and cacao are all grown in the Island of Hawai’i and farm tours are available to visitors and locals who want to learn more about these popular crops.

Hawai’i Island (aka Big Island) is an agricultural mecca and produces the majority of the state’s agricultural products. From coffee and macadamia nuts, to cocoa beans and vanilla, Hawaiʻi’s crops are the most unique in the country. Many farms offer free tours of these popular crops, as well as free tastings.

Coffee farm tours are most popular in the Kona District where the famous Kona coffee is produced. However, the districts of Kaʻu and Hamakua also produce some delicious beans.

 Many people are unaware that vanilla beans are derived from orchids, and Hawaiʻi Island is the perfect place to grow this temperamental flower. Visitors to Hawaiian Vanilla Farm in Paauilo can reserve a seat for an afternoon tea or lunch with dishes all created with this delicious crop.

Tea lovers will enjoy touring Mauna Kea Tea or Big Island Tea and participating in a private tasting and tour of this sustainable, organic tea farm. Take a guided walk through the tea fields and taste seasonal teas in the tearoom.

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory Farm is a working farm in the Keauhou area of Kona. The island’s tropical sun, rainy afternoons, and rich volcanic soil offer the perfect environment for growing cacao trees that produce a unique chocolate flavor. And of course, the best part is sampling the goods!

Hopefully, you’re now inspired to participate in this year’s Farm Day on Saturday, May 18, and check out some local farmers’ markets or take a fun farm tour. You don’t need to be in Hawaiʻi to participate – you can share on social media from anywhere in the world! Remember to use the hashtag #eHIFarmDay19.

If you’re in Hawaiʻi and wondering where to find a market near you, check out Edible Hawaiian Island’s Farm Guide and its listing of farmers’ markets and farm tours organized by island.

If there are no local farms in your area, go into nature or find something growing and share it. Just remember to use the hashtag #ehifarmday19

If you’re working on Farm Day, take a photo from the week before and then on Saturday May 18th post it on social media. But be authentic, share that you are working and when and where the photo was taken. Again, remember to use the hashtag #ehifarmday19

If you have a farm or business, please share it with your post and tell everyone how you support our growers. Take videos, blog and most important include your co-workers, family and friends to participate. Most of all, have fun!