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On our list of food that we wanted to pick up at the Hilo Farmers’ Market (on Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6 am-4 pm there are over 200 vendors), were: purple yams; purple, orange and white carrots; Hamakua mushrooms; white pineapple; apple bananas; avocados; Maui onions; red potatoes; cherry tomatoes; corn; and anything else that looked delicious. We were thrilled to be able to find everything on the list in ample supply except for the colorful carrots.

Because it is summer, pomegranates, lychees, passion fruits, dragon fruits, strawberry guavas, and hairy-looking rambutans, among other fruits, are in season. Hawaiian honey, tropical preserves, and a man who shucks coconuts for visitors to enjoy the coconut milk with a straw are all part of the sampling.

Across the street from the market is a block of vendors selling flowers, crafts, jewelry, sarongs, bags, soaps, and other products and gift items along with some small stands offering a variety of prepared foods.

This block is a fascinating place to chat with locals and discover the colors, flavors, and music of the windward side of the island.

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