Category Archives: Native Plant Farms

Summertime Maui Tours


 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!


Plant a garden… Dream a Farm

Gardening in the shadeHere at Maui Country Farm Tours we visit the farms on Maui. It is so beautiful and inspiring to meet with farmers and learn about Maui’s agricultural beauty. We hope to inspire many young people on Maui to pursue a dream in agriculture contributing to the future of Hawaii. The land is changing and small farms are needed to provide food and products for the island and the world. We love to share the beauty and I want to be a part of this future dream of sustainable living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Please see our farm tours page to learn about all the farms we visit. Inspired by Ali`i  Kula Lavender Kula Country Farms and many other farmers of Maui like Greg and Susy Stille of  Piliani Kope Coffee Farm I long to create my own special place.

Gardens are like children. They need nurturing and love but once established they do well on their own.

I learned about gardening by just getting started. As a young girl I collected images of old English garden posters. I loved the cottages that looked so dreamy and full of flowers like antique roses, delphiniums, canterbury bells, foxgloves and irises overflowing from gardens with paths leading to enchanting storybook houses.
 I knew nothing about gardening when I began at the age of twenty five. I want to share this so you know that one can start anytime in their life to enjoy the gifts of gardening.
organic comfrey
When houseplants were the rage in the seventies, (a revival of Victorian times) my father didn’t want dirt in the house so I began to plant outside. I became obsessed with planting because obviously I was born for it. I found such joy digging in the earth and watching things grow. I hope to share this joy with you.
I purchased seeds and followed the instructions on the packages. I knew nothing about soil and nutrients and enriching with compost until I met a friend who turned me on to Organic Gardening magazine. It was then I knew I would always be an organic gardener because I could never use chemicals that could harm animals or human beings and cause cancer.
My first soil was sandy. My first flowers were zinnias, that grew on skinny unhealthy stems almost tipping over with the weight of the huge flower heads. The next flowers were gorgeous heavenly blue morning glories that surprised us every morning when we looked out the window on a gray California morning to see hundreds of heavenly blue flowers clustered at the top of a vine. They were gorgeous and I was hooked on gardening. I began to prepare my soil in raised beds of a wall next to our fence. I added big bags of potting soil to the sandy earth and mixed in compost. I planted carrots and California poppies to create a lacy look experimenting with flowers and vegetables mixed together. As an artist I always designed with color and texture in my mind. Later I would learn about succulents, drought resistant ice plants, ground coverings and vegetables.

Heavenly Blues
After thirty years of gardening and planting everywhere I’m dreaming of a small farm on a hillside overlooking Kaho`olawe, Lanai and West Maui. I really want to grow lettuces, beans, carrots, beets, citrus, cabbages, onions, tomatoes, peas, asparagus and herbs of all kinds. I see them in curved rows and various areas with pathways leading to hidden flower gardens with cutting beds, succulent gardens, trellises for roses. There will be fences for lilikoi vines and row upon row of papaya trees and palms that could line a drive. I could grow coffee too. I will grow native plants and have experts to teach the growing, propagation and uses for these plants.
 Maui Kitchen Garden
I’m imagining visitors coming from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful gardens and products created from the fruits, vegetables and flowers all grown on Maui.
For now I continue on our half-acre in my small plots here and there and will share the journey with you as I prepare my new raised beds and grow lots of food. Last year in my 10 x 12 foot garden I grew amazing varieties of lettuce, cabbage, kale, mesclun mix, onions, chives, basils, tomatoes, Hawaiian chili peppers, snap peas, string beans, daikon, zinnias, cosmos, morning glories, small carrots and all organically of course. I rarely have pests because I create healthy environments for my gardens by companion planting and first of all making a nice healthy soil.
 Organic Romaine
There are many methods of gardening and you hear a lot about the no till style of layering ingredients that decompose on their own (lasagna gardening) but I have always preferred to dig my dirt a foot deep, mix in compost and organic nutrients to prepare my soil. This has worked well for me. Up-country Maui has nice earth rich in nutrients and the cool nights are wonderful for lettuce and cabbages. We have year round beautiful weather but still subtle changes that are better for winter and summer crops.
organic bibb lettuce
Please follow my newsletter for more elaboration on the gardens and information on a Native plant each month.
What will you grow?


New Hopes and Dreams

What are your hopes and dreams?

As we are ending this year and looking ahead to the new one, I always feel a sense of hope. The picture above symbolizes new life to me. Freshness, aliveness, growth, abundance and beauty are so much a part of our life on Maui.

While clearing out my office, giving lots away, making room for new life, evaluating all the good in my life, letting go of the past feels healthy and positive. I love to reflect during these last few days of the year and take quiet time to plan and dream. I take stock of all the good in my life. The new friends I’ve made through Social Media have enhanced my life greatly. I’m thankful to have reached out there and taken the risk to expose my life and shared my love of beauty and Maui.

It is a risk we take to open up our hearts just as one does in love. We take a chance that we might be rejected, ignored or criticized. Hopefully we learned from every aspect and effort taken to share knowledge, beauty, humor and art with our fellow entrepreneurs and friends. It has been a fun year full of accomplishments and joy.

We congratulate Plant A Wish for planting a tree in every state and wish them great success with their film in progress. Looking forward to TED X Maui coming to the Maui Arts and Culture Center, January 22,2012.

It was awesome to watch the Slow Food Maui movement take off with a series of foodie events.

Congratulations to Melanie Boudar,  the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier on her Wailea Gateway Store and new Commercial kitchen at The Maui Tropical Plantation, coming soon with the Story of Chocolate.

Lots of new restaurants opened on Maui including Honu in Lahaina, Monkey Pod Kitchen in Wailea, Japengo at Hyatt Regency Maui and Saffron Indian Cafe in Kihei.

We honor everyone’s efforts and are inspired to pursue our dreams with a passion.

We thank all the farmers that allow us to visit their farms and welcome visitors to enjoy Maui’s agricultural beauty.

Looking back on the year what did you find most memorable?

Maui Christmas

Aloha everyone,

Mele Kalikimaka to all our friends, families and visitors to Maui. What a wonderful time to let go and just enjoy each other’s company in a spirit of sharing and enjoying the beauty of Maui. Sunny or cloudy, Maui has a wonderful closeness like nowhere else in the world. It has been compared to a large campus because everywhere you go you may cross paths with a friend or familiar face and have the opportunity to talk story and share what’s been happening in your life.

  There’s so much going on at every resort for visitors and local alike. See Sheila Beil’s blog GoVistHawaii for all the Christmas Eve and Christmas happenings on Maui. Kama`ainas (Locals) love to go out for parties at the resorts in a gorgeous setting overlooking the magnificent ocean. Kama`aina  means “Child of the land” but one is actually treated like a child of the land on Maui when they have lived here for a short time.
  We hope you get that feeling when you visit Maui that you are treated like family and when you depart have the feeling that you must return.
 I fell in love with Maui in the seventies but finally moved here permanently in 1996 and married a local boy in 2005. Together we created Maui Country Farm Tours. When you marry a local boy you get to know much more about the culture and feel a part of history in the making on Maui.
  We love to share this when we visit the farms. When people arrive on Maui today they see our island magnificent beauty, the boutiques and restaurants and drive through old towns of Makawao, Paia, Wailuku and Lahaina. What I like to do is imagine the olden days and then the ancient times here in Hawaii. I sit at Ka`anapali Beach looking out to Lanai and imagine not a single building there. I think of the ocean lapping at the shore and sleeping on the land with a tapa blanket, palm trees swaying in the breeze. Then I’m brought back to reality in my soft hotel sheets and king sized bed enjoying the feel of luxury on Maui.
  I let my imagination go up to the country. What did Hawaiians do up there? How did they live off the land for nearly one thousand years?
 On a Native Plant farm we can learn about the plants that were here before Hawaiians set foot on the land. We learn about how they used plants for healing, for structures, and how they cared for their resources by conserving and taking only what they needed so there would be more for later to ensure their survival. Hawaiians were very resourceful people.
  In modern times farmers are providing vegetables and meats to our population. Be sure to check out The Maui Cattle Company beef. It can be found at Whole Foods Market in Kahului and the small stores like Long’s, Pukalani Superette and Ulupalakua Ranch Store. If you live here, you can check out Beef and Blooms by William Jacintho and his family. Maui is famous for the Maui Onions and Kula Greens.Kula Country Farms is growing on one hundred and eighty acres of leased land Up-Country. Rich volcanic soil and cool mountain nights are perfect for cabbage, lettuce, spinach, arugulas, root vegetables, squash, strawberries, asparagus, corn, flowers like tuber rose, lilies, snap dragons, babies breath and some tropicals like bird of paradise. O`o Farms is growing the vegetables, herbs and fruits for their restaurants I`o and Pacific O.
    Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm has acres of lavender and proteas thriving on the southwest facing slopes of Haleakala at 4,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. We love to enjoy lavender tea and scones with our guests so they can take it all in before  a walking tour with one of their proud experts on the farm.
Pin Cushion Proteas
  We love sharing beautiful Ulupalakua Ranch and actually taking time to slow down under hundred and fifty year old trees at Maui’s Winery. Visitors can drive to all these places but for those who would like to be escorted on a personalized tour we’d love to take you there.
  It’s so much fun to go as a small group to Surfing Goat Dairy and enjoy a flight of cheese after learning about the history of the farm and the goat milking and cheese making process. We eat, we shop, take pictures and enjoy the scenic ride without a care for how to get there.
You’re in good hands with Rick and Marilyn. Want to get out to the country and see how life goes on up the mountain? Call us 808 283-9131     Eat, tour farms and have fun.

 Please visit all our Maui Bloggers  and friends to see what they have to offer about our wonderful island. A Maui Blog, MauiShopGirl, KulaFields, MauiInformationGuide, TheOhanaMama, TikiTales, TobyNeal, GlutenFreeMaui, MauiDish and see a movie during the holidays at “First Light” in the wonderful Castle Theatre.You’ll get a wealth of fun and information and make new friends on Maui. Be sure to check out Toby Neal’s new book Blood Orchids Big Island based crime novel, (great for beach reading) and Tiki Tales for wonderful children’s books of Hawaii. The Ohana Mama has a fabulous Maui Mama Blog and she is an amazing entrepreneur with a new product called Tag-A-Towel. The Gluten Free Maui girl has lots to share and Kula Fields is delivering fresh Maui fruits and vegetables grown by our farmers right to your doorstep! It wouldn’t be Christmas without a great film, especially on Maui and it wouldn’t be Maui without a trip to the country.
So what are you doing for Christmas on Maui?

Ho`olawa Farms

One of the most beautiful Native Plant Farms in the state of Hawaii is Ho`olawa Farms in Haiku, Maui.
I visited this beautiful place in 2004 while researching for my book Amaryllis, Amaryllis, How Does Your Garden Grow? “Organincally, of Course!”  

I met Anna Palomino, who gave me a personal tour explaining many of the plants which were endangered or near extinct and those that were being propagated on Maui. Some were native to Kauai, others to East Maui  and various climates and different elevations of the Hawaiian Islands. It is an amazing experience to imagine the islands before human beings stepped foot here.  When one pictures the land untouched it is a calming experience to the soul and spirit. I would love to see more natives planted throughout all islands. She said that many of the seeds are stored in the seed bank at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai.

There was a story about Pele’s sister Hi`iaka called Pa`u Hi`iaka (Skirt of Pele’s sister) about a ground covering that was thick enough to save her from the sea. Olulu, or “Cabbage on a baseball bat” is a beautiful large leafed plant successfully planted at Ho`olawa Farms. Aki Aki is a native grass found at South Point on the Big Island that is drought resistant and being planted in various areas on Maui along the highways.

You can see many images of the plants grown here at Ho`olawa Farms.