Ailani Gardens
85-1373 A Waianae Valley RdWaianaeOahu(808) 696-7616Website
Aloun Farms
91-1440 Farrington HwyKapoleiOahu(808) 677-9516Website
Evonuk Farms
1781 Omaopio RoadKulaMauiWebsite
Growing Creations
Hana Herbs and Flowers
P. O. Box 323HanaMaui(808) 248-7407Website
HSN Farm
Kahumana Farms
86-660 Lualualei Homestead RoadWaianaeOahu(808) 696-8844Website
Khamphout Farm
P. O. Box 970510WaipahuOahu(808)342-6965Website
MA‘O Organic Farms
86-210 Puhawai Rd.Wai‘anaeOahu(808) 696-5569Website
Mohala Farms
Kaukaonahua & Farrington HighwayWailuaOahu(808) 478-8469Website
Nalo Farms
41-574 Makakalo StreetWaimanaloOahu(808) 259-7698Website
Pit Farms
Simok Farm
Theng's Farm
Vilath Farm
Wally's Farm
495 Pakala StreetHonoluluOahu808-395-1223 Website


KCC Saturday Farmers Market
4303 Diamond Head RdHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Honolulu Farmers' Market
Neil Blaisdell Center777 Ward AvenueHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Kailua Farmers' Market
609 Kailua Road(Parking lot near Long's and Pier 1)KailuaOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Mililani Farmers' Market
Mililani High School95-1200 Meheula ParkwayMililaniOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Waianae Farmers Market
Waianae High School85-251 Farrington HighwayWaianaeOahu(808) 697-3599Website
Ala Moana Farmers' Market
1450 Ala Moana BoulevardHonoluluOahu(808) 388-9696Website
Hale'iwa Farmers' Market
Waimea Valley59-864 Kamehameha HighwayHale'iwa Oahu(808) 388-9696Website
KCC @ Night Farmers' Market
Kapiolani Community College4303 Diamond Head RoadHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Kailua Town Farmers' Market
315 Kuulei RoadKailuaOahu808-388-9696Website
Wahiawa Farmers' Market
Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission parking lot1067 California AvenueWahiawaOahuWebsite
Hawaii Kai Farmers' Market
Kaiser High School511 Lunalilo Home RoadHawaii KaiOahu(808) 388-9696Website

Basil (including Thai Basil, Lemon Basil and Tulsi)

Basil is an herb that is now being widely cultivated for both its culinary and medicinal uses.  The origin of basil is thought to be in India.  Over the centuries (some say 5,000 years) it has made its way across continents and taken deep roots in kitchens and apothecaries around the world but particularly in Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia – each developing their own varieties and cultivars based on their varying climates.

It is thought that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. In India particular varieties of Holy Basil, Tulsi, have been traditionally been used for supplementary treatment of stress, diabetes, digestive and respiratory conditions.

Here are a few different varieties being grown in Hawaii and can be found in farmers markets as well as nurseries:

– Genovese, Sweet Basil are the round leafed, common Italian basil that is most widely cultivated and retailed in U.S. It is most often used in Italian cuisine, the main ingredient of pesto.

– Thai Basil (horapha) has small narrow leaves and purple stems and is more heat stable, meaning that it keeps its flavor better under high or extended cooking temperatures. It is the basil most often used in curries. (This is the basil in the image on this page).

– Holy Basil (Tulsi, Tulasi, Thai Holy Basil or kraphao) is perhaps one of the oldest cultivar and most revered of all basils.  It is widely and deeply used in India as a medicinal in Ayurvedic treatments and as tea.  In Thailand it is known as kraphao and is a central ingredient in stir fry and noodle dishes, it is different from Thai Basil.  In India, several varieties of Tulsi are cultivated specific to use and climate.

– Lemon basil (Thai Lemon Basil or maenglak, Lao Basil) has a strong lemon taste and scent.  It contains a chemical called citral that is not found in other basils. It’s most widely used in Lao and Indonesian cuisines in stews and salads.  Its delicate white flowers can be harvested to be used as a lovely and zesty condiment.

Prepping & Eating Tips

– Always wash your basil well before eating.  Pat dry or help it dry in a salad spinner

– Basil is most commonly used fresh, added at the last moment to a cooked dish, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor and aromatic qualities of basil

– Adding basil to any soup or salad brings a nice fresh green beauty and flavor.

– Basil can be steeped in hot water for a nice aromatic tea

– Basil flowers are a nice addition to iced delicate green or white teas.  Limeades or lemonades too.

 Selecting & Storing Tips

Look for bunches of basil that are high in color, supple in leaf, free of wilt and damage.  If you can get bunches with roots still on, even better.

If for just a few days before using, you can free your bunch from the twisty tie and wrap with a damp paper towel, place in a plastic bag or air tight container in the fridge.

If you want to keep basil for more than a few days, untie the bunch and stick the ends in a cup of water and cover loosely with a plastic bag on the counter out of the sun.  If roots are still on, you don’t need to cover with the bag.  Clip as you need. Change the water daily.

Growing Tip

Another option is to buy yourself a basil plant and clip as you need.  Basil plants do well near a window with daily watering (water in the sink so as to flush with water, not little sips that let the minerals build up). Clip as you need.  Then replant outside or compost. Be sure to always pinch off the flowers of a basil plant if you want it to keep producing leaves.  I add the basil flowers to my lemonade  or iced tea.


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