Category Archives: Gardening

Making the most of Maui

We’re making the most of Maui sharing all the agricultural beauty of our island. KenaioOur guests love the experience at Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm, MauiWine, Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Kula Country Farms with us. English LavenderThey say it’s so much nicer having an experienced local guide to share the history and all the behind the scenes information about life on Maui rather than driving themselves and worrying about where to turn. We have private tours, large groups and wedding parties take the whole family together on our adventure and they have a blast. MauiWineIt’s fun to see everyone enjoy the gorgeous gardens, the tea and scones, the walking tour into the gardens and taking photos among the old trees at Ulupalakua Ranch after their wine tasting is a treasure for life. Travelers love the feeling of old Maui and our Up Country Lifestyle and we love sharing our island over and over again. It’s an honor to have guests from China, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Midwest, California and all the guests cruising on the Pride of America Norwegian Cruiseline.Half Way to Hana We’re hooking up with Carnival Corporation and soon you’ll be booking our newest tours specializing in the rare and beautiful things to do on Maui. See you soon on a farm tour. Call Marilyn to design a custom tour for you 808 283-9131 or book right in the side bar here on our calendar. If you love a Kula Coffee tour, Half Way to Hana Tour, Up Country Farm Tour or Deluxe Up Country Farm Tour, please click on the calendar for all our tour descriptions. 
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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.

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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!

 

Half Way to Hana Tours

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Half way to Hana Tour (Our newest tour) is a half day tours for those who want a taste of the wild side of Maui in the jungle and the Road to Hana. Half way to Hana Tour picks up in Kahului 8:30 AM – 2PM We journey into the jungle side of Maui exploring taro, bamboo, rainbow eucalyptus, waterfalls, farm stands, old churches, lava flows, gorgeous scenic lookouts, sampling along the way tropical local fruits, banana breads, coconut, pineapple, picnic lunch and maybe take a dip into a pond. image$160.00 per person (otherwise private) The lunch is created at Whole Foods Market.  Choose at the time of booking Turkey-bacon-spinach-avocado-aioli, Classic Italian or Veggie all on ciabattas baked at Whole Foods. image

Private tours are $250.00 per person and we customize everything for you. We go off the beaten path to small farms, foraging for fruit and veggies, visit restaurants and galleries, gift shops, boutiques, art shows, and even design birthday or special occasion for you for themed events OR lunch at a private farm. Private Chef tours are possible too. (Call Marilyn for a special quote) 808 283-9131

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 To see all our tours visit the TOURS TAB and call Marilyn to book your tour. Kamaʻāina rates For Hawaii residents only.

 

 

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.

Beautiful Maui

We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural beauty… Some of our favorite things to show you are Ulupalakua Ranch below and Maui’s Winery. Everyone loves the old trees and rich history of the land on Maui. They love tasting and learning about the wines made on Maui from four different grapes and from Pineapple. The scenic vistas from the 3, 000 ft. elevation are breathtaking and people love the relaxed drive overlooking Maui’s South shore. Wailea and Kihei are beautiful from above. We can see the Kai Kanani catamaran anchored off the Makena beach and Golf Resort. I love pointing out my favorite beach on the island, Makena Beach. Ulupalakua-scenic

Our guests are always amazed at the bi-coastal view from Ali`i Kula Lavender farm at the four thousand foot elevation. There are so many varieties of plants and flowers everywhere that it is a feast for the eyes. After enjoying a Lavender tea or coffee with a delicious lavender scone, we do a walking tour into the proteas from South Africa and Australia and lavender planted by Mr. Ali`i Chang Co-Founder of the Lavender farm. It’s a gorgeous rich experience for all. Then we travel throughout Kula, Maui sharing all the beauty and history of our island. Ricky was born and raised here and his ancestors arrived in the late 1870’s from Portugal.

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At Kula Country Farms there are dahlias, cosmos, strawberries, squash, pumpkins, sunflowers, nasturtiums, herbs, pincushion flowers and so much more. The picnic tables are just above the children’s garden with something beautiful for everyone to enjoy. At times we can meet the miniature ponies. Some days the fat chickens are running about. There are ducks too. In the adorable farm stand you can purchase Country gifts of Maui such as local honey, jams and jellies, syrups, tea towels with garden designs, art work by Meredith (one of the employees), delicious and chilled strawberry juice, (so refreshing), all the veggies, like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, string beans, peas, cabbage, lettuce, lemons, lilikoi, broccoli, squash, pumpkins and local corn. Now they have a food truck serving wonderful meals with all the local ingredients.  Teena and Chauncey Monden lease the land from the ranch to grow their crops. Originally a 10,000 acre Hawaiian Ahupua`a,  it was sold to a Chinese potato farmer, who sold it to a sugar magnate, who sold it to his grandfather, Maui senator Harold W. Rice, in 1916. (from an article in the Wall Street Journal dated January 22, 2010)

2012-10-04 14.30.42We’re looking forward to sharing Maui’s newest 82 acre farm, the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery on Omaopio Road just below Surfing Goat Dairy. We’d love to take you to both places to share the beautiful scenery, the organic sugar cane planted in rows ten feet apart. You can walk among the sugar and hear it blowing in the wind. The earth is mulched with a heavy layer of shredding from tree trimmers who deliver the mulch to the farm as an organic weed control. The vodka is created from desalinated sea water that comes from the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s shipped to Maui in containers to be be fermented with organic sugar grown right here on the farm.

It’s a gorgeous location and a very interesting process to see how vodka is made and bottled then distributed all over the country.   The barnIt’s also wonderful to see a new venture on Maui take place before our eyes.

Coming soon you can purchase bottles of Ocean Vodka on the property but they won’t be serving the alcohol on site, however, Surfing Goat Dairy has a BYOB policy that you may open alcohol and I’m told it goes perfectly with their delicious lemonade. So you can visit the gift shop, travel on up to Surfing Goat Dairy to enjoy some of their 18 award winning cheeses and possibly a little Ocean Vodka lemonade Martini.

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So if you want to get closer to the land and culture of Maui, join us for a tour of the Up-Country farms or a wonderful West Maui Coffee Tour. Proteas are blooming on the slopes of Haleakala between 2,000 and 4,000 feet on the South West facing slopes. They arrived from South Africa and Australia in the 1970’s. These amazing flowers have been on the planet since dinosaurs. It’s wonderful to walk among a prehistoric garden filled with lavender and king proteas and banksias from Australia. I love to have people feel the flowers and touch the bushes to squeeze the lavender. We walk into the lower fields to see the edible gardens and crush the leaves of the new young cinnamon tree while taking in the amazing vistas of Maui below. Guests who can’t walk as well enjoy the lanai or benches overlooking the whole lavender farm. These beautiful proteas are in bloom October through May while the majority of lavender fields are in full bloom all summer long worldwide. Some of the varieties of French, Spanish and English lavenders are in bloom year round. This tour is $175.00 per person. (6 hours)

Call to arrange your tour with us 808 283-9131 We’d love to personalize a tour for you. Private Tours are $225.00 per person

 

Morning and afternoon (1/2 day tours) Up-Country Farm Tours are $150.00 per person. (4.5 hours)

Kama`aina rate is 10% discount.

Our Coffee Tours are amazing!

You’ll see  Piliani Kope farm and Kaanapali Coffee estates where the 500 acres of MauiGrown Coffee is grown. Kaanapali-Coffee-Farms our vanKaanapali-Coffee-Farms $175.00 per person  Kama`aina rate is 10% discount (5 hours) including lunch.

We  will customize a tour to O`o Farms and Aina Lani Farm for you, or choose Three farms Up-Country you’d like to see like Enchanting Flower Gardens, Shim Coffee Farm, and the Lavender Farm.

Maui Ag Fest

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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

 

Our Best Selling Tour

Our Best selling Tour is the half day tour. I know it’s because there’s so much to see and the price is nice. $150.00  
9 AM The 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 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.
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.
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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.  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. Guests can do a wine tasting of either pineapple or grape wines in the King’s Cottage. 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.

Next 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 and lavender. Now they’ve planted the edible gardens with citrus, apple, plums, cinnamon, avocado and the olives trees are flourishing. 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. Private tours are $225.00 per person and you’ll love having the van all to yourself. 808 283-9131

Pride of America Cruise ship passengers are picked up at the Kahului harbor at 8:30 AM. All others must meet at Whole Foods Kahului by 8:45 AM. (Lahaina Harbor is a 45 minute drive to Kahului) We now pick up at Lahaina Harbor for an additional $50.00 per person. 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 -4:45 PM

Guests at Kahului Harbor can be picked up at 11:30 AM

~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