I talked my husband into driving down to the Makuu Market in Pahoa this morning. We'd never been, but a friend who is very reluctant to leave his house went, so we knew it was worth it!
My husband was grumbling a bit when we drove in, because we could see from the highway that it is quite a large market, and he thought it was just a giant farmer's market. It's more like a flea market, actually. I knew I could get plants down there. I specifically went looking for olena (tumeric), pink shell ginger (that's the one with edible roots), and puakenikeni (because I love the flowers). I didn't find any of those, but I did find an attractive ornamental, a small mojito mint starter, some red ti leaf, garlic and regular chives, a Harry Chapin record (are you reading, Dad?) and a rooster trivet. My husband got a Chevy Chase movie and a couple of records, too - yes, records. We still have a turntable which we use.
It was just nice to get out. There are food vendors there, too, and we bought and split a small pizza made in a wood oven. I've been telling my husband I wanted to build a wood fired oven in the backyard. The vendor had his on a cart and it looked like maybe he started the fire with propane tanks mounted underneath, but burnt ʻohia wood. The pizza was very tasty and a good deal, too. I would love to have a wood oven outside to make pita bread - the electric oven inside the house just doesn't get hot enough.
Afterward, we drove down to Kalapana. We didn't hike into the lava flow, but we drove along the coast. I forget, living mauka, how much I love to look at the ocean. The coast there is rocky, not swimming beaches, but it is beautiful. You can see from all the hala and coconut growing down there, as well as the frequent small ancient cemeteries that there were thriving communities down there. Hala is woven for mats and baskets and coconut has so many uses beyond food.
It was nice to have a break, even though there is always so much to do at home, and I am pretty happy about the chives - I have never had any luck growing them from seed for some reason - and also the mint. I have been wanting some for some time. The two plant vendors I checked with said to come back in two-three months and they would have cinnamon and puakenikeni, so we'll have to go in the summer.