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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not your typical "Groceries"

My kind of place. =)
A blog a day for 3 days in a row, WOO HOO!  (Patting myself on the back). 

Now, I'm pretty certain that every photographer has a camera with them at all times; I know I do!  Most of the time that I'm taking pictures, I was never expecting too.  Here on Maui, there's always a rainbow, or a cane burn, or a surf swell, or a cute critter on the side of the road that makes me stop and admire as I try to capture their beauty. 

Greatest Co-Pilot in the world!

The other day I was "grocery shopping", and I'm certain by now you all fully understand how much I love and appreciate food; so I thought I would share my "grocery adventures" with you.  Now Sack N' Save, (just like a Foodland or a Safeway), is about 15 minutes away from my house.  I rarely go there.  The groceries I'm talking about take me 45+ minutes to get too, and I can bring my best buddy with me, Lono.

Kula Country Farms.  Can you see that view?
If not, click on the picture to ENLARGE. :)
There's not many places in the world I can think of where you have to drive up a crater to go get your groceries, but that's what I do.  I journey part way up Haleakala to the cool farm country of Kula.  There on the side of the road is a sweet little stand over looking Iao Valley and vasts of oceans.  You can literally see two other islands and both sides of Maui from there.  So I get out of the car, Lono has to stay in because there are chickens running all around that he'd just love to play with... but he knows the drill, so he's not to upset about it; he just patiently watches the scene and waits for my return. 

Educating people on Honeybees, (bonus points right there!)

I take a deep breath of air and WOW is it fresh! The lady at the stand knows me and she knows how far I come for my groceries, so she's always trying to add things to my bag.  I let her, up until she goes to grab the fresh made cinnamon buns.  "No way Jose, get those things outta here!", I tell her. We swap recipe ideas and talk story for a good while before she pulls out her lunch box and urges me to try her quesadilla she packed for her lunch today.  There's not many sweeter than her. 

As I'm "checking out" my family owned, locally grown groceries, I catch a waft of a heavenly scent I know all to well and curse under my breath... Damn tuberose's!  Now I know I'm not making it out of there without at least one flower stem.  One by my desk for a week and I'm fully and happily, aromatically intoxicated every time I work.  As for my bill?  What cost me $36.00 at Sack N' Save, (on sale), cost me $19.00 at Kula Country Farms AND I have my boy with me, AND I enjoy great company with a cashier who actually cares to say more to me than just Debit or Credit.  Actually, they don't even take credit cards, (the whole scene is really kind of 1950's... which I dig). 

Other customers stop in and pat Lono on the head as they pass by the truck.  Locals talk story in the parking lot as a couple tourists stop for the view and to take pictures of the chickens running around every where.  It really brightens my day just to pull in to that parking lot.  I end up snacking on lychee the minute I get out on the road and start heading to my next stop.

Love the honor system! :-)

In all of Hawaii, we have a system called "The Honor System".  Farmers, gardeners, or just people with abundance, set a little stand at the side of the road with a money box and their produce bounty inside.  There is no one there, so you take what you want, and leave the money in the box, (Prices are listed).  I go up Olinda Road, past the rodeo, and on to visit two Honor stands.  That's where I get my Ji-Normous avocados.  Spoiled me, I cannot imagine ever buying one of those tasteless Hass avocados they sell on the mainland for way to much money.  How about 75 cents to a dollar for avos the size of a large grapefruit?  Organically grown too... Mama Mia!  Now that's what I'm talking about! 

Lono knows the whole drill, but once we get to our last stand, he starts getting pretty excited because he also knows what comes next... A HIKE!  Not more than a mile from our last stop, there is a wonderful hike through a conservation forest.  Fresh food and a date with my dog, the trip for groceries is well worth it. 

I may just be the only person on Earth who looks forward to grocery shopping. =)

Love & Aloha to You All,

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