Maui the Best

Maui no ka oi means Maui the best as we say on our island and here’s why we say that.image

Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian Islands and one of the most rural, beautiful places in the world. Voted the number one wedding destination on the planet, Maui is a dream come true for visitors to the islands. When planning your vacation or dream wedding and honeymoon on Maui you’ll want to explore all the beautiful farms Up Country and the road to Hana.Road to Hana

On our Half way to Hana tour you can experience lush vegetation, tropical fruit stands, ponds and waterfalls, rainbow eucalyptus, bamboo forests and gorgeous black lava formations with waves crashing all around the Ke’anae peninsula.

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Swim in a beautiful pond towards a waterfall then finish with fresh banana bread right out of the oven at Aunty Sandy’s and Roselani Ice Cream at the Half Way to Hana Store before heading back to civilization. Our most popular half day tour is the Up Country Farm Tour. You’ll love it at Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm where we have lavender coffee or tea and scones then wander into the beautiful gardens filled with lavender, proteas, orchards, vegetable gardens, native Ohia Lehua trees and views that are to die for.

Giant King Proteas

Lunch is an awesome experience on the one hundred and fifty year old Ulupalakua Ranch for Maui Cattle Burgers or delicious veggie taro burgers and wine tasting in the King’s Cottage. It’s so beautiful among the old trees. On private tours we take you behind the mountain to see magnificent lava flows formed hundreds of years ago.Lava flows

Maui has over eight hundred small farmers and one hundred members of the Maui Coffee Association. There are coffee farms all over the mountain, Haleakala and Kaanapali Coffee Farm grows on 350 acres on the West side of the island. We have the privilege of visiting Kula Beans Coffee Farm Up Country. Tama Brandeburg grows one hundred and fifty red Catuai and typicas to create her delicious award winning blend.Kula Coffer Cherries image image image

Book a tour right here in the sidebar on our website or call 808 283-9131 and speak to Marilyn

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Summertime Maui Tours

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 Aloha everyone coming to Maui and all you folks living on the island of Maui. Summer is here and it’s time to have summer fun in the islands. We love taking visitors and Kamaʻaina (locals) on adventures and Maui tours in the country to the Lavender Farm, Coffee Farms, Ocean Vodka and MauiWine. We also love to share bamboo forests, waterfalls, halfway to Hana, Hoʻokipa, Huelo, native plants and coconuts. Gardening is a passion. Farmers markets and local growers are what we love to share at Maui Country Farm Tours. We love to visit Lahaina Animal Farm, Maui Dragonfruit Farm and SimpliFresh Farm too. It’s a great West Maui adventure tour that can finish by circling the West Maui Mountains, the Blow Hole, beaches, cliffs, waterfalls, surfers, galleries at Kahakaloa, very old churches and Iao Valley.  So join us with your family and friends on a personalized educational adventure on the mountain Haleakala. Book a tour right here on the page or call to book and ask questions at 808 283-9131. We’ve been told we had the best Maui tour by guests in their twenty years of traveling. What an honor to share Maui with the world.

See tours at the tab above or the calendar or click here!

 

Are You Ready For Coffee Country?

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It’s time to go explore a beautiful coffee farm in Kula, Maui learning how coffee trees are grown, pick cherries, pulp and wash beans, prepare for drying then sample the two award winning varietals grown here on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui.

You’ll love this gorgeous two acre manicured property in Kula, Maui. You’ll hear birds singing in the trees as you gaze upon the long stretch of land down to the coffee trees at Kula Beans Coffee Farm created by Tama and Donald Brandeburg. It’s so peaceful and quiet up here off the beaten path. A privilege to visit such a wonderful place.

Walk into the one hundred and fifty red catuai and typicas planted at 2200 ft elevation. The conditions are perfect for growing this award winning coffee. Winner of the Best in Cup for the entire state 2012 and Best on Maui also. King-proteaWe’ll also see proteas, tangelos, limes, macadamia nut, pomegranate, peach, lemons and avocados which grow beautifully in Hawaiʻi Nei. (Beloved Hawaii) Fluffy free range chickens greet us as we walk on the land and learn how a backyard grower creates a business from seed to cup of delicious city and French roasted coffees. Sample fresh made delicacies and buy fresh roasted organic coffee. Tour is 2 hours at the coffee farm finishing with lunch by Whole Foods Market

Turkey-sandwichKahului, Maui, turkey bacon spinach avocado aioli, Classic Italian or veggie, then we continue to Up Country galleries, Kula Marketplace, through Haleakala Ranch, Makawao Town and Paia town for short stops to shop for souvenirs and check out our unique old country towns.

Pick up at Whole Foods 8:45 AM

return by 2 PM

cost of tour $160.00 includes everything.

call Marilyn to book a tour 808 283-9131

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The WEST MAUI FARM TOUR

LAHAINA ANIMAL FARM, MAUI DRAGON-FRUIT FARM and Simpli-Fresh FARM TOUR

ripe coffee cherries at Piliani Kope Farm photo by Marilyn Jansen LopesAloha everyone, our West Maui Farm Tour has changed due to the Kaʻanapali Coffee Farms closing to the public recently.  The coffee Berry borer wiped out one third of the crop in Kona and was discovered on Oahu at the Dole Plantation and we do not want it to spread to Maui. It could be devastating.

It’s so sad not to be able to wander into the coffee trees but we visit these gorgeous farms in Launiupoko and were thrilled to meet Teresa Waters of the Lahaina Animal Farm and Crystal of the Maui Dragonfruit Farm. We are offering the new tours to these locations and finishing at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store and Simpli Fresh Farm at the top of the scenic Lahaina Bypass Highway.

We Pick up at Kahului Harbor 8:30 AM, Whole Foods Market 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. 8:45 AM and Lahaina Harbor 9:15 AM then we travel to Launiupoko to Lahaina Animal Farm. Teresa Waters with Kelsie and Baby DollWe start with an introduction to the gorgeous farm 500 ft. above the sea. Then we meet Ramsey the Ram, beautiful horses, Elsie Mae the young donkey, Baby doll, a miniature horse who is barefoot and pregnant all the time. (They breed horses as assistance animals because they live much longer than assistance dogs) The property is magnificent with a gorgeous guest ranch home (that people can rent) backed to the West Maui Mountains and Launiupoko Gulch. There are designer chickens, ducks, a tilapia pond with fat healthy fish, a garden, aDSC_0011 lilikoi gazebo, a seven year old tortoise named Hulk, and his girlfriend, a couple of friendly pigs, Rhode Island Reds, sweet goats and it’s immaculate. We enjoy the walk and meeting all the animals then some fresh squeezed lilikoi juice in the shade.

photo 3(3)Everyone wants to stay and stay but we give our aloha to all the animals and head on our way to the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm

 

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We can see the blue blue sea and the island of Lanai from this unique place where they have planted the dragon fruit cactus which produces beautiful exotic flowers then fruits. They are seasonal, so eventually they will offer Dragon fruit added value products for purchase in the beautiful bamboo house where we will sample Maui Gold Pineapple year round and Dragon fruit when in season (July-November). DSC_0059 DSC_0063 DSC_0053DSC_0043We’ll explore the 26 acres from their lookout platform overlooking the dragonfruit and their zip-line and rolling ball that people adventure on other activity tours.

Then it’s off to the Launiupoko Beach Park for a picnic lunch followed by coffee and cookies at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store. You’ll learn about growing coffee beans, harvesting and the art of processing coffee, from picking, drying, pulping to roasting and tasting the fresh roasted Coffee. There are four varieties of coffee grown here.green coffee cherries Red Catuai is said to be the Cabernet of coffee by certain coffee writers. Yellow Caturra has a yellow cherry unlike the typical red coffee cherry and has spicy undertones. ripe coffee cherries at Piliani Kope Farm photo by Marilyn Jansen LopesThey grow Typicas which are from the original coffees brought to Kona, but are grown on Maui. Finally, the Maui Mokka is grown nowhere else in the world. It was originally from Ethiopia and cultivated in Yemen. The Mokka on Maui is a hybrid grown only on Maui. It is rare and wonderful with chocolaty undertones when the cherries are aged an additional six months to bring out the flavors. The wonderful picnic lunch with sandwiches provided by Whole Foods Kahului chosen at time of booking. (Choices are: Turkey-Bacon-Avocado-Spinach-Aioli, Classic Italian, or Veggie) and Fresh island fruits and juices.Kaanapali-Coffee-Farms our van

This is a photo of the four different varieties of coffee growing at Kaʻanapali Coffee Farms. In the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store, you’ll learn how they harvest the rare Mokka Variety which is gaining notoriety as a MauiGrown Coffee. In the past, If we were lucky we got to observe some of the harvesting process. With such a large acreage it must be done by machines that go through the rows and rows of coffee trees. Its a rich adventure.

You can shop at The Maui Grown Coffee Company Store for gifts and meet Jeff Ferguson who manages the store. (closed Sundays) You can ship coffee home directly from the store.

Then we’ll be heading up Lahainaluna Road to James and Janell Simpliciano’s Farm “SIMPLI FRESH” to explore all they grow, which is just about everything from sweet potatoes, taro, bananas, papaya, ti leaves, tomatoes, lemongrass, watercress, star fruit, mango and so much more. They’ve found old watercress patches planted by Chinese immigrants during the sugar eras of one hundred and sixty years on Maui. Sugar cane from some the original Hawaiian Canoe crops have been discovered on these slopes of West Maui where inside this range of mountains is the second wettest place on earth. Many streams came out of these mountains supporting life for over one thousand  years.

Then we cruise through quaint Lahaina Town back to the Harbor at 2PM and Kahului by 3PM. You’ll return with a memory for life. Tour 5 hours. Cost of Tour: $175.00 Call Marilyn at 808 283-9131 to book your farm tour. Lahaina pick ups are included on the West Maui Farm Tours.

(Private tours $225.00 per person will be customized for you.) 2012-09-03 11.35.072012-09-02 10.21.40

Tasting the Best of Maui Tours

We Love sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty and soon we’ll add the Road To Hana (half-way to Hana) where we’ll explore a cacao farm, native plant farms, botanical gardens, taro farms and the bamboo forest with small tours at each location and a wonderful tropical picnic lunch before heading back to civilization… Ask us now and we’ll customize a tour for your group.
 HALF-DAY TOURS
9 AM Our Morning Up-Country Farm Tour begins when we pick you up in Kahului and head for Ho`okipa Beach Park (The wind-surfing capital of the world) before heading Up-Country to the farms. First we take a scenic ocean view tour passing by the last working sugar mill in the State of Hawaii through the historical old town of Paia, then on to Ho`okipa Beach Park for some photos overlooking the magnificent surf.
Maui Country Farm Tours Van
Then it’s on through Pineapple Country where Ricky was born and raised in Hali`i Maile the headquarters of The Maui Pineapple Company, now gone and Maui history is changing before our eyes. If not for Maui’s Winery in Ulupalakua, the pineapple would be gone. But today they lease over 1200 acres and continue to grow the Maui Gold pineapple which is used in many of their pineapple wines. They call it Hali`i Maile Pineapple Company.
After traveling through the pineapple camp we head to Ulupalakua for a wonderful scenic drive and stop at Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Maui’s Winery. Guests enjoy a complimentary wine tasting in the Tasting room once the King’s Cottage in the 1800’s.
maui's wineryYou’ll learn the history of the 150 year old ranch along the way and be amazed at the feeling of old Maui when you arrive to see the trees planted by captain James Makee in the late 1850’s. We walk among the old trees taking photographs and enjoying the history of Ulupalakua ranch. There are approximately 2300 head of cattle, elk, sheep, goats and wild turkeys on the 20,000 acre ranch. After Ulupalakua we travel to the 4,000 ft elevation to Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm. We enjoy tea, coffee and scones then proceed to a walking tour in the old proteas (planted on Maui in the 1970’s) from South Africa and Australia, now planted with lavender, edible gardens, citrus, avocado and olives. There’s even a cinnamon tree. It’s an amazing experience and a highlight of our day. 20120810-220237.jpg20120810-220202.jpg

We do a wonderful lunch created at Whole Foods Kahului, Maui. Choices are the turkey-bacon-avocado-spinach-aioli, Classic Italian or Veggie sandwich, all on ciabattas. (let us know if you prefer gluten-free) We also prepare an amazing salad for large groups with local ingredients at Whole Foods. Fresh Pineapple, and other local fruits like lilikoi are served.

Everyone loves the local style and fruits they have never tasted before. Turkey-sandwich

After lunch we stop by Kula Country Farms a 180 acre farm where they grow pumpkins, strawberries, squash, string beans, cabbage, onions, tuber rose, and more proteas. Guests can shop in the quaint farm stand overlooking all of West Maui. (Closed on Monday) Strawberry Patch at Kula Country Farms Pincushion-protea-closeup

9AM – 2PM (5 hours) Cost of Tour (including lunch and refreshments) $150.00 Kama Aina Rate is a 10% discount available to local residents. Minimum of four to travel so check with us to see if we have others booked. (Otherwise private.)

Private tours are $225.00 per person and you’ll love having the van all to yourself.

Pride of America Cruise ship passengers are picked up at the Kahului harbor at 8:30 AM.

All others meet at Whole Foods Kahului by 8:45 AM. We now pick up at Lahaina Harbor and Wailea for an additional $50.00 per person. Add 90 minutes on to your tour for those pick ups.

So if you want to visit beautiful Up-Country Maui, you can come with us for a wonderful agricultural and scenic tour of the island of Maui.

Afternoon Up-Country Farm Tour: Same as above but 11:45 AM -5:00 PM


Deluxe Up-Country Photo Farm Tour:

~ Scenic Ocean View Tour of Ho`okipa Beach Park

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~ History of Sugar Cane on Maui ~ Old Town Of Paia

~ Pineapple Country

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~ Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch

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~ Lunch created by Whole Foods Kahului. Maui.

Then … Your choice of either Surfing Goat dairy or the NEW OCEAN VODKA ORGANIC FARM AND DISTILLERY.

Surfing Goat Dairy walking tour, cheese sampling where you’ll see the goats up close, learn about the dairy and cheese making process and you’ll love the many cheeses flavored with herbs from the 42 ACRE farm. They have 18 award winning cheeses. Feeding-the-goatsNew Ocean Vodka Organic Sugar Farm and Distillery and bottling operation. (opened for tours April 29, 2013) where we’ll experience the amazing organic sugar farm plantings and learn how Ocean Vodka is created from desalinated Sea water, fermented with the sugar and the distilling and bottling process. You can shop for vodka and gifts.The barn The sugar cane

~ Gift shops at each location and plenty of areas to relax and enjoy the view. The all day tour begins at 9:00 AM but pick up times are ~ 8:30 AM from Kahului Harbor, varies at Lahaina Harbor depending on the ship schedule, ~ 8:45 AM from Whole Foods 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. in Kahului.

We return to Kahului by 4 PM and Lahaina must add 45 minutes. If your ship departs that evening from Lahaina harbor, it’s best to book a morning tour (1/2 day). The tour is $175.00 per person
Private tours are available for $225.00 per person.

WEST MAUI COFFEE TOUR

Pick up at Kahului Harbor 8:30 AM, Whole Foods Market 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. 8:30 AM and Lahaina Harbor 9:15 AM then we travel to Launiupoko to Piliani Kope Coffee Farm. We start with an introduction to the farm where we taste delicious fresh roasted Piliani Kope coffee overlooking beautiful West Maui at 600 ft. above the sea. Then it’s into the coffee trees to learn about growing coffee beans, harvesting and the art of processing coffee, from picking, drying, pulping to roasting and tasting the fresh roasted Coffee. Imagine smelling the roasting beans. You’ll love the views of the valley and mountains behind the farm and the ocean views from Piliani Kope Farm. It’s  a gorgeous state of the art barn with beautiful light from the French Windows over the coffee bar. Indonesian carved woods, and unique coffee processing machines are a work of art. Guests can shop for t-shirts, coffee, and art-work in the barn while we prepare for our picnic lunch.We have a wonderful picnic lunch with sandwiches provided by Whole Foods Kahului chosen at time of booking. (Choices are: Turkey-Bacon-Avocado-Spinach-Aioli, Italian Sub, or Veggie) and Fresh island fruits overlooking the magnificent view.

Piliani Kope Farm

Then we explore the Ka`anapali Coffee estates where 500 acres of coffee are grown and four varieties of coffee trees, thanks to James (Kimo) Falconer who resurrected the Coffee Trees and created the MauiGrown Coffee brand. Kaanapali-Coffee-Farms our van

You’ll see four different varieties of coffee growing and learn about how they harvest the rare Mokka Variety which is gaining notoriety as a MauiGrown Coffee. If we’re lucky we’ll get to observe some of the harvesting process. With such a large acreage it must be done by machines that go through the rows and rows of coffee trees. Its a rich adventure. Then we hop back in the bus for a scenic tour to shop at The Maui Grown Coffee Company Store for gifts and meet Jeff Ferguson who manages the store. (closed Sundays) We’ll samples fresh roasted Mokka and Peaberry or Catuai. You can ship coffee home directly from the store. Then we cruise through quaint Lahaina Town back to the Harbor at 2PM and Kahului by 3PM. You’ll return with a memory for life. Tour 5 hours. (Private tours $225.00 per person) will be personalized for you) Cost of Tour: $175.00 Call Marilyn at 808 283-9131 to book your farm tour. Lahaina pick ups are included on the West Maui Coffee Tours.

SHORT TOURS

 

THE SUGAR EXPRESS TOUR Have a short time and want to see some of Maui’s agricultural beauty? Take The Sugar Express Tour. We take you up into Iao Valley, a lush tropical rainforest just minutes above Wailuku town. You’ll be able to see the rushing stream and the famous Iao Needle. We’ll take photographs and provide you with a digital postcard after your trip. Then we’ll proceed up to the Maui Tropical Plantation for a wonderful Tram Tour which travels through a 60-acre working plantation and takes about 35-40 minutes. You’ll see where they grow all of the Tropical Fruits and Flowers along with breathtaking scenery. Along the way you’ll learn about Coconuts and even see a Coconut Husking Demonstration. Now there’s the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier cottage right next to the tram ride. Lot’s of gift shopping available. There’s also Kumu Farms planting food at the plantation with plans for a hands on picking produce market. They’ll ship papayas anywhere in the USA. It’s a really beautiful place. As we leave Maui Tropical Plantation we’ll head to the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum, a delightful collection of sugar memorabilia from actual workers in the cane fields. You’ll see how a sugar mill works and the history of sugar on Maui. This is the last working sugar mill in the State of Hawaii at Puunene. The “Sugar Express Tour(9 AM-12 noon) Cost is $120.00 Kama aina is 10% discount. Waters and juices are provided on the tour. Call 808 283-9131 ~ ask for Marilyn

Private Tours are available for $225.00 per person. (The whole van for your group)

Look forward to seeing you on our tours…

~ Aloha everyone

All Tours have a 72 Hour Cancellation Policy

 

Maui Agriculture is Happening

Silver leaf Protea view2013-02-26 14.44.56We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty. What’s not to love? We get to be out on our beautiful island enjoying the beauty as we share our passion and love for this place with people from all over the world. Maui is such a beautiful place to live. The land is rich in culture and beauty all year round. Soon the big surf and humpback whales will arrive. In December, that is… As the summer winds down and kids are back to school we are celebrating the bounty of Hawaii with many events all over the island. On any given day you’ll find so much to do but especially weekends on Maui. Each Friday has a special event in one of our towns. Saturdays you might find five different events including Farmer’s Markets all over the island. See the Edible Hawaiian Islands Farmers Market Guide for all islands.

If you want to get close to the land and learn about the farms on Maui, go meet the farmers at the markets. There are over 800 farmers on Maui. Not all farms are ready for Ag-Tourism but they are ready to sell their goods at the farmers markets and various restaurants and stores of our island. We love to buy local honey, fresh eggs, lettuces, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, string beans, lilikoi, (passionfruit), asparagus, coffee and flowers. There are musicians at the Up Country Farmer’s Market on Saturday Morning too. You can always find delicious savory and sweet pastries by Barbara and Chris of SoMoore. (You always want some more). You never know what to expect. One day might have a pop-up restaurant from Honolulu visiting like Pig and The Lady serving Vietnamese Food.

Coffee is happening right now on Maui. There are over one hundred members of the Maui Coffee Association with some growing only two trees like us, others with over three hundred trees. Each area has a different climate. The award winning Keokea Coffee Growers are just finishing their harvest while West Maui growers are into the fall harvest. We love to do the seed-to-cup experience on our West Maui Coffee Tours. 2012-09-03 11.35.072012-09-02 10.21.40

Kaanapali Fresh is happening again August 30, 31. It starts Friday evening with “Mixology” and a progressive farm-to-table dinner in Kaanapali Beach with entertainment by Jake Shimabukuro. Saturday morning features a Beach side farmer’s Market and Coffee Tour with lunch on a gorgeous estate in the middle of five hundred acres of coffee trees. The evening celebrates Food and wine with entertainment by Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliam and Makana. Get your tickets here.

If you want an experience of a lifetime in the country on Maui including entertainment too, call me!

808 283-9131 We will personalize a tour for you… See the tours Up-Country Farm Tours, West Maui Coffee Tours, Private Tours, All day tours or half day tours morning or afternoon. Ladies want to see  gardens and flowers we will design a beautiful day with lavender tea or coffee and scones for you.

Farmers let us know what interests you. There are over five thousand head of cattle at Ulupalakua Ranch plus elk, sheep and goats. Maui is small but so diverse in its agriculture. Come enjoy the beauty of Maui on a country farm tour.

Maui Ag Fest

Sharing Maui's Agricultural BeautyKaanapali-Coffee-Farms our van

The Maui Ag Festival was bigger than ever. The crowd was amazing. The enthusiasm for farmers, food, flowers, coffee and all things agriculture was celebrated with music, Hula, Taste Education demonstrations with chefs paired with farmers and some of the most amazing talented people of Maui. The atmosphere was exciting, uplifting and energizing. We got to see friends and be surrounded by the things we love about Maui. There was so much going on from Spirits to chocolate, Ulu, (breadfruit), Taro, exotic fruits and vegetables, macadamia nuts, coffee, sugar, pineapple, citrus and avocados, persimmons, lavender and a flower arranging contest. The barbecue smoke permeated the air. Soccer groups served BBQ plates, others served pork sliders, Maui Cattle, ribs and others debuted Shaka Pops made from fresh fruits of our island. I barely got to see it all as I was working in the Education Tent with Pomai Weigert. We partnered together to share the Hawaii Ag-Tourism Association with everyone. As an incentive we offered a chance to win a free tour for two and over one hundred people signed up! The enthusiasm was so great I’m still smiling. I saw my friend Ken Love President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Grower’s Association only for a moment at 7:30 AM.

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Here I am meeting my Twitter friend, Macrobiotic Chef  @Macrohawaii  Leslie Ashburn.

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My Friend and local hero, Susy Stille of Piliani Kope Farm. She and her husband Greg Stille (President of the Hawaii Coffee Association) were just voted one of our local heros for all the wonderful ways they give back to the community in the state of Hawaii.

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The most abundant unique vegetables grow on Maui. This citrus is called Buddhas hand. The unusual cauliflower is grown by Coca farms in Kula, Maui. I get to visit many farms but have barely touched the surface when it comes to the eight hundred farms on Maui. If only everyone was ready for Ag-Tourism. For now we got to see many of the farmers come out in explosion at the Maui Ag Festival an annual event we would like to become a daily event. Imagine growing enough food on Maui that we could survive here without imported food. Well at least we could decrease dependence.

 

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Here’s the small edible garden at the Lavender Farm in Kula. Situated among old proteas from South Africa and Australia, French, English and Spanish lavenders, the new edible gardens are a bounty of lettuce, bok choy, beans, peas, onions, chards, spinach, edible flowers and the orchard are full of stone fruits including plums, pears, apples, mulberries, citrus and avocado. There’s even a cinnamon tree. I can just imagine in five years how beautiful the orchard will be.

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I never tire of the giant king proteas that took to the slopes of Haleakala back in the nineteen seventies. The lavender is gorgeous surrounded by prehistoric flowers that have been on earth since dinosaurs.

 

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We love to take our guests to Ho`opkipa en route to the country farms. It gives us a sense of where we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Now we  stop at Lumeria Maui on our way up Baldwin Avenue through the old Pineapple Country changing before our eyes. It’s a four star resort in the country popular for meditation retreats, yoga, massage, organic food and classes in horticulture and aromatherapy. The landscaping with palms and native plants is breathtakingly healthy and a beautiful place to feel the trades blowing through the palms.

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We want to encourage native plantings of original Hawaiian Plants every day in Hawaii to help restore the natural beauty of the islands . The islands were so different in ancient times. Let us take the time to learn and preserve what is left. Part of the agricultural beauty is the preservation of the natural beauty that is Hawaii.

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Pin Cushion flowers are plentiful on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui. There are over twenty five varieties.

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The Jade flower vines are so beautiful at Maui’s Winery.

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These awesome farmers are Manu Akana and David Horsman of Ho`opono Farms

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Food from Ho`opono Farms West Maui Farm

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Jimmy Gomes is Ranch Manager for Ulupalakua Ranch. Aloha Jimmy!

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Coca Farms

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These ladies are doing a wonderful thing with the “Waste Not, Want Not” Foundation. When fruit is needing to be harvested before it goes to waste, people call them sometimes on short notice to come and harvest. The food is donated to senior homes and after school programs. The Foundation is supported by donations.

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Kula Country Farms Strawberries grow year round. The picking season for the public is February through May. They waited until after the Easter Egg hunt so everything would be perfectly beautiful for the children. The Pumpkins will be planted in the upper fields this summer for harvest in September and October. On the lower one hundred eighty acres more strawberries grow, and onions, cabbage, string beans, squash, kale, zucchinis, carrots, beets, and other root vegetables.

 

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These are from my own garden where I grow lettuces, beets, string beans, carrots, peas, onions, chives, hollyhocks, basils, thyme, rosemary, sage, lilikoi, papaya, apple bananas, coffee trees and eagerly plan to dig in the soil and plant more.

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These are my old friends from Hana Fresh where I used to work as a registered nurse at the Hana Community Health center, now Hana Health. They’re growing on ten acres  and have a farmers market tent seven days a week in front of the clinic in Hana.

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My friend Pomai Weigert and one of my partners in promoting agricultural tourism. We are connecting farmers and visitors in the community to enhance the visitor experience. People are wanting an enriched experience that takes them closer to the land. Our goal is to innovate, educate and perpetuate enthusiasm for agriculture. It takes a vision written on your heart to achieve a dream such as a farm, an added value product, a new way of making a living. We see the future of Hawaii as a series of cottage crops on all islands thriving and growing food for all. Many farmers want to do Ag tourism but don’t know where to begin. Hawaii Ag Tourism Association is here to walk you through the hoops. There are many steps to make your farm ready and you can begin by utilizing the check list available at the HATA website. “Are you ready for Ag-Tourism?” First become a member by joining HATA. Together each achieves more. We will work together. Lani Weigert, the co-founder of Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm is the executive director,  and together we can use that model to create many more successful farms.

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The Maui Ag Festival was a “farmers market on steroids” as Melissa Chang said it in her blog at Non Stop Honolulu. Maui is really off the charts full of talent, and amazing farmers, chefs and gardeners. The creativity is inspiring for everyone to see. So come join us any day of the week on Maui. We’ll visit farmers, farmers markets, chefs and foodies, artists and agricultural beauty.

We love sharing Maui’s agricultural beauty!

Call me to schedule a personalized tour. 808 283-9131

~ Marilyn

 

“Best of Maui” Country Farm Tours

Aloha from Maui Country Farm Tours,

We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural beauty. We specialize in Up-Country Farm Tours, West Maui Coffee Tours, customized tours for small groups and large groups up to twenty people. We pick up at Kahului Harbor, Whole Foods Market Kahului 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. and also Lahaina and Ka`anapali for an additional fee for the transfer. We have morning tours, afternoon tours and all day tours.

Our tours begin in Kahului.

Our all day tour begins when we pick you up in Kahului and head for Ho`okipa Beach Park (The wind-surfing capital of the world) before heading Up-Country to the farms.

Hookipa
We take a scenic ocean view tour first by the last working sugar mill in the State of Hawaii through acres of sugar cane and the historical old town of Paia, once home to another sugar mill, then on to Ho`okipa Beach Park for some photos overlooking the magnificent surf. We often see Hawaiian sea turtles (Honu) and surfers, kite sailors, and wind surfers on the beautiful waves. We allow time for photographs then travel up through Paia, past the skeleton of the old sugar mill and railroad station where cane was once transported in the early days of sugar. We point out the tunnels used in the elaborate ditch system dug by the Chinese in the late 1800’s to transport water from East Maui to the sugar cane fields. Then it’s on through Pineapple Country ­where­­­ Ricky was born and raised in Hali`i Maile the headquarters of The Maui Pineapple Company, now gone and history is changing before our eyes.
If not for Maui’s Winery in Ulupalakua, the pineapple would be gone. But today they lease over 1200 acres and continue to grow the Maui Gold pineapple which is used in many of their pineapple wines. They call it Hali`i Maile Pineapple Company.

pineapple

After traveling through the pineapple camp we head to Ulupalakua for a wonderful scenic drive and stop at Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Maui’s Winery. You’ll learn the history of the 150 year old ranch along the way and be amazed at the feeling of old Maui when you arrive to see the trees planted by captain James Makee in the late 1850’s. We walk among the old trees taking photographs and enjoying the history of Ulupalakua ranch. There are approximately 2300 head of cattle, elk, sheep, goats and wild turkeys on the 20,000 acre ranch.

The ranch land begins at sea level and goes to 6500 ft.

maui's winery

Guests can do a wine tasting of either pineapple or grape wines in the King’s Cottage (built by Captain James Makee for King Kalakaua to stay overnight) now the wine tasting room. Our visitors are so amazed at the diversity of the land on Maui and love to see how people actually live when we drive through Kula, Keokea and Ulupalakua.

They love the old-fashioned ranch store with the wooden floor and real life characters sculpted and sitting on benches on the lanai.

Ulupalakua

After Ulupalakua we travel to the 4,000 ft elevation to Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm. We enjoy tea, coffee and scones then proceed to a walking tour in the old proteas (planted on Maui in the 1970’s) from South Africa and Australia, now planted with lavender, edible gardens, citrus, avocado and olives. It’s an amazing experience and a highlight
of our day.

silver leaf proteas on a beautiful day at akl maui

Silver Leaf Proteas at the lavender farm.

Nursery at aklmaui

The Lookout point from the lower lanai where we have our large group lunches is magnificent.

Proteas at akl

Prehistoric Giant king protea buds mixed with lavender make a magical garden.

Sweet english lavender

Sweet English  lavender in full bloom all summer long.

 

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Here I am with Lani Weigert, Co founder of the lavender farm. Koa Chang is top right. He is the son of farmer and co-founder Ali`i Chang. That’s Harrison, the farm manager who taught me so much about the farm.
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Gloriana Bush

Caslon

Our guests love the lavender tea and scones at Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm on the lanai overlooking magnificent Maui below from 4,000 ft. elevation. It’s a Mediterranean climate with coolness in the air.

We do a wonderful lunch created at Whole Foods Kahului, Maui.

Choices are the turkey-bacon-avocado-spinach-aioli, Classic Italian or Veggie sandwich, all on ciabattas. (let us know if you prefer gluten-free) We also prepare an amazing salad for large groups with local ingredients
at Whole Foods. Fresh Pineapple, and other local fruits like lilikoi are served. Everyone loves the local style and fruits they have never tasted before.

sandwich

For our all day tours we can choose finishing off at either
1. Surfing Goat Dairy for a walking tour of the goat farm, cheese
making process and sampling of fresh goat cheeses.

Postcard
OR
2.  The NEW Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and distillery (open for tours April 29, 2013) where we’ll experience the organic sugar farm plantings and learn how vodka is created from Sea water, fermented with the sugar and the distilling and bottling process.

There are gift shops at each location, picnic areas where guests can just relax and enjoy the view while others are participating in the tour.

ocean vodka barn

The new Ocean Vodka barn and distillery.

The sugar caneOcean vodka bottle

The young sugar plants are now maturing and ready to begin harvesting for vodka making. We’ll be walking in the sugar cane and learning all about the different varieties, some from original plantings by early Hawaiians.
The all day tour begins at 9:00 AM but pick up times are 8:30 AM from Kahului Harbor, varies at Lahaina Harbor 9:15 AM depending on the ship schedule, 8:45 AM from Whole Foods 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. in Kahului.
We return to Kahului by 4 PM and Lahaina must add 45 minutes.
If your ship departs that evening from Lahaina harbor, it’s best to
book a morning tour (1/2 day).

This tour is wonderful and includes a set of books by Marilyn Jansen. (Cookbook, gardening, and drawings of Hawaii)

On this tour guests are also provided with a beautiful digital
postcard of their day.

The tour is $175.00 per person

Give us a call at 808 283-9131 so I can plan a tour for you and your family or friends or just the two of you on a private tour. We’re local and we love to share Maui with a passion.

~ Marilyn

All Your Dreams Coming True

Imagine all your dreams are coming true…
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Visiting Maui Coffee farms

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Magnificent surfing beaches

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Lavender and Protea Farms

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Watching edible gardens come to life on Maui and taking home memories for life…

We’re sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty and it IS a dream come true…

Join us 🙂 808 283-9131
808 280-1621

Marilyn Jansen Lopes
http://Mauicountryfarmtours.com

Winter in Hawaii

In Hawaii it’s hard to imagine there is winter. But we feel the subtle changes in the air. It’s cooler, the surf starts to get big on the North shore, we begin to feel the excitement of the holidays and the arrival of the humpback whales. Then come the visitors in a sudden arrival to the islands on holiday for Christmas season. Many Canadians take month long vacations from the freezing cold temperatures of Canada. We’re glad for that as they contribute generously to our economy. They love Kihei on Maui and there is even a monument to a famous Canadian explorer on the shore in Kihei just across from the Maui Lu in North Kihei.

Yet, the air is perfectly balmy and the trade winds blow so softly that many would say it’s just too warm for Christmas.

I love Maui and the subtle arrival of winter in Hawaii. The most beautiful thing about the islands is the way people begin to show how they care. It’s not an easy time for so many though everything looks cheery and beautiful.

The Salvation army volunteers outside  the stores at the Big K-Mart and Longs drug stores remind us to give a little bit to help the poor. The Lokahi Giving project on all islands established by newscaster Leslie Wilcox and Mariellen Jones in partnership with KHON NEWS have given a hands up to hundreds of thousands of children, elderly and under privileged men and women during difficult times. Events  at Ka`ahumanu Shopping center give us a sense of Christmas spirit. Remember to give at this time and throughout the year. The Maui Food bank is in great need of non perishable food and cash gifts. Don’t forget Women Helping Women.

Up at the Lavender farm the classes have filled up with plant lovers creating their gorgeous wreaths of lavender, proteas, silver leaf, eucalyptus and pine.

The king proteas, pin cushion flowers, snowy owl mink proteas, safari reds, silver leaf are absolutely gorgeous right now. Huge bouquets are available and displayed throughout the boutique and lanai overlooking West Maui magnificent bi coastal views. We love to have lavender tea and lavender coffee is my new favorite with delicious scones made with French Lavender by Jeanne the bread lady for AKL MAui.

I also discovered I love the strawberry pepper jam. It is so bright and delicious. Remember to pack your gift items in your checked bags for the airport. You don’t want to lose a precious gift. Do sign up for e-mail updates because they have a sale item every day. You’ll love the lavender citrus hand soap, the gardener’s lotion with lavender and citronella, the lavender tea with mint, chamomile and lavender, the body creme which is so rich and luxurious with Aloe, jojoba, sunflower oil, coconut oil, flax seed, primrose, calendulas, and lavender all organic of course! I send my sister in California the lavender massage oil for the dry mountain climate. It’s perfect after a shower or bath.

My friend Melanie Boudar, The Sweet Paradise Chocolatier is busy with her elves creating artisan chocolates for the Wailea Gateway Store and shipping all over the world. Love these little boxes with a salted caramel, truffle, and a hand-painted chocolate heart. Who can resist beautiful chocolates?

One of our favorite things to do on Christmas Eve is visit the resorts in Wailea and take a picture by one of the elaborate big Christmas trees. It’s so elegant at each resort and a Christmas Magic takes over. I love to see the lighting change from day to evening at the Grand Wailea. The Botero Lounge is filled with poinsettias and fine art sculptures abound. The circle marble bar under the Center Pagoda is a work of art in itself. The entire lobby is open to the sky except for the bar which has a ceiling of Al Fresco paintings. You could valet there and take a walk along the path by the sea to visit all of the resorts along the shore.

Next you’ll find the Four Seasons Wailea a boutique luxury five star hotel with fountains and gorgeous pool set above the sea. There’s Ferraros Italian Poolside restaurant and Duo, plus Spago.

Imagine hanging out at the Serenity pool by day then visiting the spa before dinner, drinks and a walk along the gorgeous sunset of Wailea, Maui.

It’s a tough job but you have to do it…

 

Winter on Maui can be unpredictable. Today the trades are gusty and 25-40 mile gusts at times. raindrops are predicted with partial sun partial clouds. It’s currently sunny and there’s moisture in the air up country. The winds are intermittent and it has a holiday feel to it. I’m getting in the mood for Christmas. Packages need to be sent out, blog posts to write, tours to country farms tomorrow and throughout the week. It’s exciting to share the beauty of Maui. Rain or shine it’s a fabulously diverse island rich in history and agricultural beauty. The Sugar Mill runs twenty four hours a day year round. We have the only working sugar mill in the state of Hawaii. What will happen when it goes? What will the next crops be? We will have a series of cottage farmers continuing to grow every day. What will you grow? What would you like to see? Some like Kula Country Farms are growing strawberries, pumpkins, kale, onions, cabbage, lettuce, herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme. Other grow orchids, citrus, avocado, edible flowers, Chinese Greens like Michael McCoy of Aina Lani farm and Farmer Richard Clark at O`o farms or ti leaves, cacao and tropical flowers. Some do amazing sprouts in small spaces like Vincent Mina of Kahanu Aina greens. Coffee is grown by at least one hundred farmers with two trees to three hundred trees and the MauiGrown Coffee farm has five hundred acres of coffee trees, the largest in the state.

Michael McCoy's Aina Lani (Fresh Island Herbs) Farm

Scenic view from Akl Maui

Strawberry Patch at Kula Country Farms

Whatever you do on Maui, please make sure to visit the country and take in the agricultural beauty. We can personalize a tour for you to a variety of farms. You will enrich your life and enhance the experience that Maui has to offer. We are finding that people get so excited when they walk among the flowers and trees, and tromp through the perma culture of Piliani Kope Coffee Farm then on to the five hundred acres of MauiGrown Coffee. It’s a seasoned visitor that wants to learn more about the people and how we live. They want to know how things grow and see the products made locally.

 

 

We love to share  it with you. So enjoy the beauty, feel the breeze, soak up the sun and breathe the beautiful fresh air that gives a healing touch to the weary traveler and winter bones. Enjoy  enjoy enjoy….

And when you return to Maui over and over, get to know our island a little more intimately by visiting a farm and seeing history in the making as we change the color and landscape for the future of Hawaii with a patchwork of farms growing our own food in a climate that supports food growth year round. Support our local farmers and encourage someone to buy or lease land where they can practice growing something that will feed the population were Hawaiians survived for over a thousand years without outside intervention. They planted Taro and sweet potatoes, fished in the sea, ate freshwater shrimp from the streams and used the resources of the land carefully to sustain their food sources.

 

We need to plant now the seeds of thought for future generations what we could have right now. In perfect weather, a perfect place, let’s grow the food for the people of this state and set an example of sustainability.

Everyone plant your garden…

Visitors come enjoy the beauty of Hawaii and all the added value products that come from this land of sunshine.

Aloha for now, Marilyn

I’ve got to get into the garden and plant.

Call me to schedule a personalized tour of our beautiful island and share Maui’s Agricultural beauty.

808 283-9131