Edible Hawaiian Islands Farm Day

photo(61)Saturday May 24, 2014 Maui Country Farm Tours is doing the “Farm Day” Tour of three Maui farms. As part of the Edible Hawaiian Islands farm day #EHIFarmDay. We’re offering a one day only Up-Country Farm Tour for the special price of $49.00 per person (kids and adults). This wonderful morning up country tour will begin at Whole Foods Market Kahului 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. in the center court of the Maui Mall. Maui Country Farm Tours will be the transportation as a benefit for Hawaii Agri-Tourism Association (HATA). All proceeds go to HATA so we can help support farmers statewide to increase their sales of Added-Value products. Please join HATA if you want to set up your farm for Ag-Tours and learn from the leaders how to run a successful operation.

The tour begins at 8:30 AM and returns to Whole Foods by 2PM.

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Our first farm is the beautiful Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm on the slopes of Haleakala Crater. We’ll have lavender tea or coffee and lavender scones and a walk in the lush protea and lavender gardens. We’ll shop in the gorgeous lavender boutique for lotions and creams, tea and jellies, honey, essential oils, soaps, sachets, gourmet seasonings, artwork, jewelry and more. Everyone can agree that Ali`i Kula lavender is a highlight of our tours.

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027 (2)Silver leaf Protea viewAfter this breathtaking farm, we’ll travel down a country road to The Surfing Goat Dairy for a delightful tour of the farm famous for its 18 award winning cheeses. Their plain chevre is poignantly named “Udderly” delicious. We sample a delicious flight of cheese after a visit into the fields to meet the adorable herds. Lots of babies and mamas to make cheese year round. Surfing Goat Dairy has transformed 42 acres of dry land to a grassy haven for Goat Cheese lovers and animals to play.

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After a fun and delicious time at the Goat farm we travel on down for the finishing touch of the day to the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery. Its a gorgeous new farm on eighty acres of land with over ten acres planted in thirty varieties of organic sugar cane. It is harvested sustainably for the production of the vodka to produce a delicious vodka that tastes of a hint of the sea. You’ll enjoy a sampling at the end of your tour of the sugar, the distillery and the beautiful barn that houses the bottling operations.

 

They have accomplished so much.photo 3photo 3photo 1photo 2

It’s a beautifully manicured grassy martini garden filled with herbs and plants perfect for martinis like lavender, thai basil, mint and lemon grass. The sugar has a wonderful sound when the wind blows and you walk up close to it to see the ancient varieties from some of the original Hawaiian Canoe crops.

 

 

Sugar Cane

You’ll taste some sugar cane upon arrival in the gift shop as we prepare for the tour. Afterwards you can shop for souvenirs, t-shirts, vodka goat cheese truffles, and beautiful bottles of Ocean Vodka. The bottles are made in France from recycled materials and a soy-based ink is used for the Ocean Vodka design. They’re beautiful.

Sharing Maui's Agricultural Beauty

We totally enjoyed the #mauiag festival on Saturday April 5, 2014 at The Maui Tropical Plantation. It was so exciting to see what the farmers and chefs of Maui have to offer on the one day they all come together to share the abundance of the land. Come next year and celebrate the chefs and farmers of our island. Visit the farmers markets weekly throughout the year. Check out the Edible Hawaiian Islands Farm guide for all islands of Hawaii.

Banxias-for-wreathmakingEnglish lavender  2013-02-26 14.44.47Call Marilyn at 808 283-9131 to book your tour. Or email info@mauicountryfarmtours.com

See you on the #EHIFarmDay Please share with your friends.

We always serve a Maui Gold Pineapple and lilikoi (Passionfruit) juice.

We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty and you’ll go home with a memory for life from three of our beautiful farms. See all our Up Country Farm Tours and Coffee Tours here.

Aloha,

Marilyn

#EHIFarmDay Tour 2014

Hey everyone,

Saturday May 24, 2014 Maui Country Farm Tours is doing the “Farm Day” Tour of three Maui farms. As part of the Edible Hawaiian Islands farm day #EHIFarmDay photo(61) We’re offering a one day only Up-Country Farm Tour for the special price of $49.00 per person (kids and adults).  This wonderful morning up country tour will begin at Whole Foods Market Kahului 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. in the center court of the Maui Mall. Maui Country Farm Tours will be the transportation as a benefit for Hawaii Agri-Tourism Association (HATA). All proceeds go to HATA so we can help support farmers statewide to increase their sales of Added-Value products. The tour begins at 8:30 AM and returns to Whole Foods by 2PM. Our first farm is the beautiful Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm on the slopes of Haleakala Crater. We’ll have lavender tea or coffee and lavender sconesMaui Country Farm Tours 467 and a walk in the lush protea and lavender gardens. We’ll shop in the gorgeous lavender boutique for lotions and creams, tea and jellies, honey, essential oils, soaps, sachets, gourmet seasonings, artwork, jewelry and more… Everyone can agree that Ali`i Kula lavender is a highlight of our tours.

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027 (2)Silver leaf Protea viewAfter this breathtaking farm, we’ll travel down a country road to The Surfing Goat Dairy for a delightful tour of the farm famous for its 18 award winning cheeses. Their plain chevre is poignantly named “Udderly” delicious. We sample a delicious flight of cheese after a visit into 2013-02-26 14.44.39the fields to meet the adorable herds. Lots of babies and mamas to make cheese year round. Surfing Goat Dairy has transformed 42 acres of dry land to a grassy haven 037 (2)for Goat Cheese lovers and animals to play. Everyone loves the rustic buildings that house the picnic areas and the little metal roofed boutique where guests check in for their tours. They can sample cheese at the window or go inside to buy goat cheese truffles, hand-made goat milk soaps, stuffed goats, t-shirts, postcards and of course Cheese! My favorites are the Mandalay (an apple banana and curry flavor) and the Men’s Challenge (horseradish). Another chevre is the Ole’ mildly flavored with jalapenos. Try the Tzatziki, a refreshing mix of quark, cucumbers, fresh garlic and dill. Aged cheeses like Feta’s are stored in olive oil for over 5 months. 2012-08-28 13.26.11 There’s so much variety and even smoked salmon panini’s with Men’s Challenge Goat cheese melted into a delicious sandwich. I love them with an espresso in the morning.  You’ll learn everything you wanted to know about goats from history of the farm, to how they stagger the pregnancies to keep the goat milk abundantly flowing into the cheese making factory year round. One weekend in December there were twenty seven new babies born. Recently there were a lot of new baby goats. It’s fun to video tape the babies when they’re frolicking to catch them in action and enjoy their antics.

Liz-at-Surfing-Goat-DairySurfing Goat Dairy105photo 2Sugar Cane

 After a fun and delicious time at the Goat farm we travel on down for the finishing touch of the day to the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery. Its a gorgeous new farm on eighty acres of land with over ten acres planted in thirty varieties of organic sugar cane. It is harvested sustainably by cutting only what is needed for the production of the vodka, and fermented with desalinated sea water to produce a delicious vodka that tastes of a hint of the sea. You’ll enjoy a sampling at the end of your tour of the sugar, the distillery and the beautiful barn that houses the bottling operations and distilling apparatus. Kyle, Dianna and their son Shay have accomplished so much.photo 3photo 3photo 1

They drilled a well for water to irrigate the farm and have photo voltaic panels that provide all the power to the farm. It’s a beautifully manicured grassy martini garden filled with herbs and plants perfect for martinis like lavender, thai basil, mint and lemon grass. The sugar has a wonderful sound when the wind blows and you walk up close to it to see the ancient varieties from some of the original Hawaiian Canoe crops. You’ll taste some sugar cane upon arrival in the gift shop as we prepare for the tour. Afterwards you can shop for souvenirs, t-shirts, vodka goat cheese truffles, and beautiful bottles of Ocean Vodka. The bottles are made in France from recycled materials and a soy-based ink is used for the Ocean Vodka design. They’re beautiful. So come along with us for a Grown on Maui tour and get enthused about the farms on Maui. We totally enjoyed the #mauiag festival on Saturday April 5, 2014 at The Maui Tropical Plantation. It was so exciting and almost too much to handle but you gotta see it and feel it and taste and buy what the farmers and chefs of Maui have to offer on the one day they all come together to share the abundance of the land. Sharing Maui's Agricultural BeautyCome next year and celebrate the chefs and farmers of our island. Visit the farmers markets weekly throughout the year. Check out the Edible Hawaiian IslandsFarm guide for all islands of Hawaii.

Banxias-for-wreathmakingEnglish lavender  2013-02-26 14.44.47Call Marilyn at 808 283-9131 to book your tour. Or email info@mauicountryfarmtours.com

Hope to see you on the tour.

 We always serve a Maui Gold Pineapple and lilikoi (Passionfruit) juice.

We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty and you’ll go home with a memory for life from three of our beautiful farms.

Aloha,

Marilyn

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

 

Hawaii Ag-Tourism News

Philadelphia Flower Show 

Big things are happening for Ag-Tourism at this very moment. Did you hear about the largest flower show in North America happening right now in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Its the Philadelphia Flower Show and the theme is Hawaii.

The Maui Visitor’s Bureau arranged for over a dozen booths to share the Aloha to an expected 300,000 visitors over nine days at this huge event. Our Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands is there to advise our Maui participants with expert knowledge from previous shows. See the web-site for the full list of participants including the Maui Coffee Association, Hawaii Island Visitor’s Bureau, Oahu and Kauai Visitor’s Bureau.   Melanie Boudar, the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier is there and Chocolates are flying off the shelves!

Love this picture of Melanie at The Philadelphia Flower Show and hey that’s my T-shirt design lower left of photo. 😉

Imagine nine days of this exposure for Hawaii. Our proud flower growers are there from Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. I’ve seen photos of thousands of our unique Proteas and tropical flowers being shared with the world. I’m sure the show will inspire many visitors to plan their trips to the flower farms in the Hawaiian Islands.

HATA

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 HATA (Hawaii Ag-Tourism Association) meets via tele-conference Poly-com on all islands at ten AM to discuss the future of Ag-Tourism in Hawaii. Topics will include Governmental affairs/Update on Ag-Tourism Ordinance on Hawaii Island, How the legal process is going to be permitted to offer Ag-Tourism, membership, marketing, funding, finance and Education. I’ll be there at Maui Community College to contribute what I’ve learned over the past year about creating Maui Country Farm Tours and learn from the experience of Lani Weigert, Charlene Kauhane and farmers from outer islands.

See you on TV, Lani for the HATA teleconference Wednesday March 7, 2012

Up-Country Photo Farm Tour

Up-Country photo Farm Tour at Maui's WineryWe recently did a very personalized tour for guests on Maui and Lynn Erfer (senior marketing director) of the Maui Visitor’s Bureau was along for the ride. We had a blast. The cruise ship passengers were farmers from Illinois and what did they want to see? Farms on Maui. Now these were big farmers of 1200 and 3500 acres of corn and soybeans, yet they were thrilled with our Surfing Goat Dairy, Ulupalakua Ranch, Maui’s Winery, Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm and learning about the sugar cane on Maui. When Lynn asked if we could pull over on Omaopio Road for a photo opportunity, the first thing our farmer did was to scoop up some of our red dirt. He wanted to feel the soil. His wife laughed and said she was surprised he didn’t taste it. (At Surfing Goat Dairy he did chew on alfalfa)

They loved the little back road journey that Rick surprises us with and stories of his Portuguese family in Kula and Hali`i Maile, Maui.

As an added treat we stopped by the Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center to check out Maui Open Studios and had the pleasure of introducing Toby Neal author of Blood Orchids. Lynn is an art enthusiast and was so excited to stop at the Hui.

Carolyn Quan, the creator of Maui Open Studios was here too! Her art was displayed in the beautiful solarium.

Maui Ag-Festival
Next up is the Annual Maui Ag-festival coming April 7, 2012 to the Maui Tropical Plantation.
Follow Maui County Farm Bureau for the Grown on Maui Chef Series and Slow Food Maui for the Taste Education Series.
Sharing Maui's Agricultural Beauty
Ka`anapali Fresh

There’s a big event in the works for Ka`anapali that involves farmers, chefs and all the hotels in Ka`anapali, Maui. I met with executive director Shelley Kekuna of Kaanapali Resorts and event planner Toni Rojas “Sterling Performance” who are putting together a three day event for Labor Day Weekend bringing Ag-Tourism to delight everyone with an in-depth experience getting to know the land of Maui.

There will be Chef tastings at several resorts, classes, tours of farms, entertainment of course, a three day series with choices for everyone that truly celebrates the food and farms of Maui. Just minutes above the sea are many cottage farms abundant with coffee, fruits, nuts, vegetables and added-value products which are the future of Hawaii. Friday August 31, September 1 & 2

 

See you at the Farms… Call me anytime for more info and tour ideas. We’ll personalize a day for you in the country.

~ Marilyn 808 283-9131

Maui Ag Festival

 

 

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day for the 2011 Maui County Ag Festival. It was a gorgeous Maui day.

After months of preparation by the Maui Farm Bureau and the efforts of Charlene Kauhane the Maui Agricultural Festival took place on Saturday April 2, 2011 at the Maui Tropical Plantation. It was a fabulous success. I wish I could tell you all about every vendor and farmer that participated but this year I personally introduced my new company Maui Country Farm Tours so the entire day was spent talking and giving out my promotional materials to hundreds of people. It was great fun. The hours passed by so quickly. Meanwhile, I know that all the 100 volunteers that Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands and Slow Food Maui had put together were doing a terrific job at The Taste Education Booth and throughout the festival grounds.

Thank you Lily for coming over to help me by delivering my Banana Bread to the banana bread contest! Another lady had stopped by that Charlene had asked to see if we needed anything and she assisted me in tying ribbons and labels around all my oatmeal cookies for the #BakeSale4Japan hosted by the GossipGourmet . They raised $3,000.00 for Japan. Congratulations!

Roxanne Tiffin of @KulaFields stopped by my booth and so did Liza of @AMauiBlog for a moment but it started to get really crazy with the crowd. Over 5,000 people were expected according to Charlene. The Taste Education booth was swamped at $25.00 per person.

Everyone had lots of enthusiasm for Maui Country Farm Tours and it was wonderful to meet so many people interested in farms on Maui. I had a contest for two tickets on Maui Country Farm Tours. Winner to be announced soon…

hand-stamped butterfly brochure

Education Tent

As I said, I wish I could show you all the participants, but I was occupied non stop  so I’ll share some images of the tents set up the day before and a few of the guests that passed by my booth. It was an awesome day. I’m sure some of the others will post photos of  more of the farmers, animals and entertainment. Check out @PeterLiu47 and SlowFoodMaui for photos. Keali`i Reichel performed and Alakai Paleka was the master of  ceremonies.

Farmer's Tent day before the Ag Festival

Food Tents Day before

Maui Rents and Sales provided the amazing array of tents for the Ag festival. You’ll have to use your imagination to see these grounds filled with thousands of people. It was amazing and so much fun. Our Mayor, Alan Arakawa was there. I saw former councilwoman Joanne Johnson and met current Lahaina councilwoman Elle Cochran.

Councilwoman Elle Cochran

So, again thank you every one who stopped by my booth, including Melanie Boudar the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier  and Chef Teton  I know you all had a wonderful day!

Thanks Charlene, you did an awesome job. Can’t wait to see the write-ups and posts about The Chefs doing the Taste Education.