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The West Maui Coffee Tour

This is it. We’re starting the West Maui Coffee Tours. It’s a gorgeous tour that starts from the moment we pick you up and take you on a scenic drive along Maui’s rugged coastline to Lahaina in our beautiful eight passenger air-conditioned van with huge picture windows. You’ll love the drive along the blue, blue sea. Lahaina is minutes away from agricultural beauty.
Once everyone is on board, our first stop is up to Launiupoko to visit Greg and Susy Stille at Piliani Kope Coffee Farm.

Launiupoko Mauka

Greg and Susy were originally in the grocery business in Northern California and visited Maui for twenty two years. They fell in love with Maui, but didn’t know what they would do over here when they retired.
We recently brought our cruise ship passengers to Piliani Kope Farm and Susy told us the story so well. Greg was on the mainland picking up the new Italian coffee roasting machine. She gave a wonderful history of their farm. Her enthusiasm was so contagious and the gorgeous barn they have created is a work of art. Our guests loved the entire tour and wondered how anyone could possibly stay back on the ship. If you’re in the islands you don’t want to miss out experiencing all the beauty Hawaii has to offer.

I love how the doors roll up on both sides to reveal ocean and mountain views. Susy showed us the coffee trees and how they cropped them for easy picking. She explains the difference between normal pulped coffee and coffee which has been left to ripen on the tree which is called “natural” and back at the barn she shows us how beans are washed and pulped in the pulping machine. Every bit of the pulp from the coffee cherry is saved to go back into the compost. Some companies are using the fruit to create super food drinks.

A wall of French windows lights up the beautiful coffee tasting bar and the whole barn comes to life. There’s coffee art on the big walls and the unique coffee processing machines are a work of art too.

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. I brought apple-banana bread that everyone loved with their fresh black coffee.

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. 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

 

We leave beautiful Piliani Kope to explore the Ka`anapali  Estate Coffee trees where four varieties of coffee trees are grown on approximately 300 acres. The history is that the Pioneer Mill which originally grew Sugar cane since 1860 phased into growing coffee in 1988. They had planted about 500 acres. The plan was to replace sugar dollar for dollar but it soon became apparent that this wasn’t possible because of the high costs of infrastructure, so in 2001 Ka`anapali Estate Coffee closed. They chose to keep the trees alive with continued irrigation. Currently there are coffee estates for sale where people can build their homes.
See http://mauigrowncoffee.com  James (Kimo) Falconer who was originally a farmer  with Ka`anapali Estate Coffee was given a lease in 2003 to 125 acres of the original 500 acre farm. As MauiGrown Coffee he resurrected the Ka`anapali Estate Coffee trees. His first harvest was in 2004.
You’ll learn all about them. (Mokka, Red Catuai, Typica and Yellow Caturra) There’s so much to learn about coffee. The coffee is sold worldwide and the rare Mokka has given Maui Coffee notoriety, just as Kona Coffee has for the Big Island of Hawaii.

We continue on a scenic tour of the beautiful Kapalua coastline. We feel like we can almost touch Molokai across the channel.
We stop at The Maui Grown Coffee Company Store to shop for gifts before departing through quaint Lahaina Town. Coffee can be shipped directly from the store. Jeff Ferguson manages the store.
If you are truly interested in the land and origins of Maui coffee and would love a hands on experience on the land you will love this adventure.  The entire journey is photographed and you’ll receive a digital postcard of your gorgeous Maui Coffee Farm Tour.
Then it’s back to the Harbor at 2PM and Kahului by 3PM. Tour 6 hours (Maximum 7 passengers)
Cost of Tour: $150.00

Call 808 283-9131 to book your tour. Please click the TOURS tab at the top to learn about all our tours.

~ Marilyn

Up-Country Photo Farm Tour

Last Friday we did a wonderful Concierge Tour of Up-Country Maui and Surfing Goat Dairy. Maui’s Winery and The Lavender Farm are the most beautiful places to spend time in nature. At the winery we ate our picnic lunch under the shade of one hundred and fifty year old trees. It was a step back in time. Beautiful land, plants, trees and an ancient forest in the distance. We had a private tour of the wine-making process.

 

Kula Country Farms was overflowing with tuberose and girls love flowers in big bouquets. The pumpkins are getting bigger each day. This is the country and it becomes part of your spirit you don’t want to leave behind. It fills you with peace and exhilarates you with the big beauty and abundance of Maui.

At the Lavender Farm we enjoyed our walking tour by Harrison. Our pockets were filled with herbs and the essence of lavender and scented geraniums. (Chocolate, lime and rose) Each visit to the lavender farm brings new knowledge of the place and the legacy of Ali`i Chang. I find I want to stay and linger and take it all in. Everywhere the eye can see is a thing of beauty. There are Proteas in many varieties and avocado trees cut like Bonsai in shapes that hang down so the fruit can be picked with ease.

 

At Surfing Goat dairy we enjoyed a tour by the young Anna who did a wonderful job. I find that each person who gives a tour has a true passion for their farms and the pride is so beautiful.  Every passenger was excited by the variety of the farms, the tastes  and sounds of the journey. It is quite an adventure. We love sharing Maui’s agricultural beauty.

 

Call us to book your tour 808 283-9131

 

 

 

 

Added-Value Workshop for Farmers

 
Beautiful Ali`i Kula Lavender

 The event was called “Adding Value and Profit to your Farm Operation”. Reggie Knox and Eric Winder were able to create this workshop because of a grant they received at California FarmLink from the Education Division of the Risk Management agency of the USDA. Reggie had owned an 11 acre organic farm for four years. He is passionate about helping farmers. They are knowledgable of succession planting, leases and purchases and creative financing for farmers.

There were about thirty guests that carpooled from Market Fresh Bistro. Many prominent farm owners were there, as well as those interested in learning more about the value-added products and how to obtain grants.

On arrival we were met by Pomai Weigert and Harrison. We split into two groups for the walking tour.

Harrison, Pomai and Reggie

 
This time I was in the group led by Harrison who did a wonderful presentation of the Lavender Farm.
 

 

 

                                    Eric Winder

Lani Weigert gave a wonderful presentation about how they grew the business and how they received a Value-added Grant.

 

We all proceed to Naalae Road for the Watanabe Vegetable Processing tour.

 Heidi told the story of their farm where they provide fresh cut fruits and vegetables for local hotels schools and other markets. They grow lettuces, leeks, cabbage and more for over 28 years on this land in Kula.

Reggie Knox

After the tours, everyone headed back to meet  Market Fresh Bistro owners Chef Justin Pardo, his sister Olivia Coletti and David Magenheim. Excellent local food was being prepared while we listened to presentations by Ken Love of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers about jams, jellies, sauces, the basics of navigating start-up and regulations, packaging ideas, product ideas and more.  Vincent Mina showed us the story of his green sprouts operations from conception to the present. Susan Wyche, University of Hawaii spoke of the millions of dollars she was able to obtain for Maui Community College through her Grant writing in the last 8 months and offered to assist others in the process. Lynn Alborino Food and Drug Inspector; Layne Belen Sanitation Inspector Hawaii Dept. of  Health gave helpful information on Food Safety.

 

Eric wrapped it up with a slide show about creative financing strategies and Grants. We had some questions and then it was time for Justin to present the food. I was starving… At 5:30 PM Justin gave a short but passionate talk about why he insists on using local ingredients and supporting the farmers on our island. He told the story of how he got started in New York City and did all the shopping at farmer’s markets. He was so appreciative of the farmers that drove two hours from the country to deliver their beautiful food to the city for sale to chefs and the public. At Market Fresh Bistro they are nearly 85-95% local. That is terriffic!

Localicious

Sorry I didn’t get pictures of the lovely Olivia, David and Justin…

We had a wonderful dinner of local greens, tomatoes, sprouts, broccolini, quinoa and delicious meatballs (Maui Cattle Company) in an amazing sauce with fresh homemade focaccia to dip in the juice. Rich chocolate brownies were served too. During the talks I smelled so many spices and fresh ingredients like ginger, garlic, currie and the meatballs cooking.
 
Thank you Justin, Olivia and David for sponsoring this event.
 Reggie and Eric you were terriffic. I learned so much and was privileged to sit next to Lani Weigert who inspires so many of us. Ken Love was amazing with his knowledge, enthusiasm and humor. Vince was energetic, informative, creative and funny too. All the presenters were fabulous. I was very glad to meet Jeff Ferguson Maui Grown Coffee and Steve Rose of Lipoa Farmer’s Market too. Loved having dinner with Chef Susan Teton.
 
 
Next time you’re on Maui call me to book a tour with Maui Country Farm Tours. 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.