A day trip to the Hilo Farmers Market

Hilo Farmers Market Horizon B&B Kona

Make sure you stop by the biggest and most popular farmers market on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Hilo farmers market runs every weekday but it’s the ‘market days’ on Wednesday and Saturday – with over 200 farmers and local crafters selling fresh produce, crafts, gifts and assorted flowers – that make it a must-visit during your stay on the Big Island.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Hawaii Horizon B&B

First started in 1988, the Hilo farmers market began with only 4 vendors and grew rapidly. The open market is now held on the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue in downtown Hilo. Contained within the space of approximately 3 city blocks, the market has free parking nearby. The biggest (and best) days are Wednesday and Sunday. Get there early to get the best of the produce and the freshest flowers.

The market opens at 6am and runs until 4pm. Most of the market is situated under large tents and includes sections with produce, food and flowers, as well as an arts, crafts and retail section. Deal direct with the farmers, the growers, the crafters and the bakers. And don’t miss out on the amazing range of food on offer from the food trucks. There is even an indoor food court.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Horizon
Long squash

What you'll find

A favorite with locals and tourists alike, the Hilo farmers market sells a huge range of produce. Whether you’re on the look-out for some locally-grown coffee or fresh fruit and vegetables, the market has a huge selection. Find jack fruit, longan, mangos, papayas, pineapples, rambutan, strawberries, white pineapples, dragon fruit, passion fruit, apple bananas, lychee, sapote and much more! Vegetables you’ll encounter include – baby ginger, bok choy, eggplant, taro, avocados, hydroponic lettuce, organic spinach, sweet corn and more.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Horizon B&B

The market also sells jams, jellies, macadamia nut butter and honey as well as bakery treats like butter mochi, malasadas, coconut pastries and Portuguese bread. A number of vendors also serve breakfast and lunch.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Hawaii

A wide range of flowers are sold at the market. Orchids and anthuriums of all shades pack the flower stalls. Bonsai plants, protea and assorted herbs are also sold. The craft sections are full of amazing creations – handmade jewelry, etched glass and items carved from koa wood. If you’re looking for a special gift or souvenir, you’ll be sure to find something well-crafted to take home from the farmers market.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Horizon B&BJPG

The market’s central location makes exploring the historic downtown of Hilo easy. After the market walk to the nearby shops, restaurants and museums. Check out the nearby Lyman Museum and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Hawaii Horizon Guest House

Hot tip: Bring the kids on the first and third Saturdays of each month and make use of the free art booth for kids (keiki). Open 1-3pm.

Can’t make it on a market day?

Don’t worry. The market is still open on all other days of the week but at a much reduced capacity. Expect approximately 30 vendors on these days.

Hilo waterfront Horizon B&B Hawaii

After you’ve finished shopping at the Hilo farmers market why not visit the nearby Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens. The waterfront location is the perfect place to enjoy a farmers market-inspired picnic lunch by the sea.

Hilo is approximately a 2 hour drive from Horizon Guest House.

Hilo waterfront Horizon B&B
Looking toward Mauna Kea
Hilo waterfront banyan tree Horizon B&B
Banyan tree

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Integrating solar hot water on the Big Island

Solar hot water Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii

The Big Island is known for sun, surf and adventure. Here on the Kona Coast we have an abundance of sunny days that make it the perfect location to install solar panels. Horizon B&B has integrated solar hot water to help reduce the cost of heating water by electricity. This system is simple to implement and low-maintenance.

Domestic solar hot water supply

The Horizon Guest House domestic hot water supply is supplemented by a separate solar system. First installed over twenty-five years ago, the solar panels are all located in positions to best maximize the power of the sun.

There are two solar panels located next to the vegetable garden. Water is pumped from the house to the solar panels whenever the sensors on the panels detect that the temperature of the panels is greater than the temperature of the hot water heater in the house. When this occurs the pump system is activated. The water is circulated out to the panels, heated, and then sent back to the house.

Delta-T thermostat on the hot water heater

Swimming pool solar hot water

The solar system is also used to heat the swimming pool water. A larger bank of panels is located on the hillside below the pool. On sunny days, the sun heats a sensor near the pool. This sensor compares the temperature of the water in the pool with that of the temperature of the panels. When there’s enough temperature difference between the two, a valve opens and water is sent to the solar panels to heat the pool. When the sun goes away, the sensor cools and it automatically shuts the valve.

Solar hot water Horizon

Guest wing solar hot water supply

There is a separate bank of solar panels to heat the domestic water supply for the guest wing. These panels are located on the hillside below guest room number 4. When the sensor heats to a certain level, the water is circulated to the panels.  

The sensor on all three banks of solar panels will activate the circulation of water when the temperature difference reaches 15 degrees. For example, if the temperature in the hot water heater is 127 degrees then the temperature in the solar panels needs to reach 142 degrees before the valve will open and the water is sent out. We have set the hot water heater to switch to electric only when it goes below 110 degrees. As a safety precaution the temperature shut-off is 160 degrees. This is to avoid sending water that would simply be too hot back to the water heater. The water sent to the water heater remains at temperature for 2-3 days due to the water heater being well-insulated.

Solar hot water helps heat our outside shower

The solar hot water system has been a great way to utilize the power of the sun to help heat the water needed to run the bed and breakfast. These systems are relatively easy to install and the differential temperature thermostat is key to integrating solar panels with a standard electric hot water heater.

Further reading:

In 2010 it was mandated that solar water heaters be complusory on all new single-family homes constructed in Hawaii.

https://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/solar-hot-water-heaters-mandatory-in-hawaii

 

 

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