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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Designer Farm Tours

We love designing tours for groups! 

This group is the Intermountain Farmer Association from Bountiful, Utah. We planned a beautiful day for these Ag savvy guests. We visited Surfing Goat Dairy, Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm and Ulupalakua Ranch for our beautiful lunch finale with Chef Will, Deby, Kevin and Jimmy Gomes, ranch manager spoke to our group while they enjoyed a country style lunch of Maui Cattle burgers, green salads, potatoe Mac, Maui chips, and soft drinks followed by Roselani Haupia and Mac nut ice cream served in mason jars. They loved everything about our island hospitality.
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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

A Tour of Ali’i Kula Lavender

A tour of the Lavender Farm in Kula, Maui is an agricultural adventure. In summer, as you approach the entrance, you begin to see thousands of grey mounds with purple stems bursting to the sky.

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Upon close observation you’ll see over 45 varieties of English, Spanish and French Lavender. Sweet English lavender has the long beautiful stems. French Lavender can be identified by the serrated leaf or French Braid like leaves. Spanish lavender has a peppery scent and buds shaped like pineapples or two bunny ears…

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The French varieties are most often used in culinary preparations. Lavender comes from the French word “lavage” and was used by royalty in ancient times to bathe. Hence, the lavender gives a sweet smelling scent to the bath and has many wonderful properties for the skin. It is a natural bug repellant, an antiseptic, can heal cuts and wounds but most popularly it has a direct effect on the central nervous system that causes relaxation… Isn’t that wonderful?
Just walking in fields of lavender is a beautiful scene. The color purple is also known to have a soothing effect on the brain.
Squeeze the flower to release the essence of lavender’s essential oils. The blooms are sturdy and can take a good squeeze…
Enjoy a blend of lavender mint tea and you’ll be in the Maui state of mind overlooking bicoastal views of the valley isle.

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Another amazing fact about the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is that it was originally a protea farm where it’s founder Ali’i Chang had come to retire. He was gifted with a lavender plant and later learned about the amazing properties and health benefits of lavender. Together with his friend Lani Weigert they built the brand “Sustainable Aloha” and created a multitude of products from lavender partnering with many locals within a ten mile radius. The skin care products are created in a certified lab on the mainland. Chocolates come from the Big Island, scones are baked just down the road, by Jeannie the Bread Lady. The French lavender flowers, stems and leaves are ground and combined with flour creating a subtle, wonderful savory scone. Their lilikoi (Passionfruit) jelly has a hint of lavender and one of my favorites products is the lavender spice mix which is terrific on lamb, beef, pork or fish. It’s fun to sample every skin care product in the lavender boutique, then shop for your favorites. You can shop online and be sure to sign up for e-mail news of sale items at aklmaui.com

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Did you know that proteas originated in South Africa and some are from Australia? They are very particular about location too. They need to be planted on a South West facing slope between 2,000 to 4,000 ft. Elevation. They took to the slopes of Haleakala beautifully. My favorite protea is the King Protea bud pictured here. This bud will take five months to open. It is so dense and tight. It opens to become the bloom you see above with white furry undersides and pink petals. Once cut, these flowers last up to three weeks in a vase. Change the water often to keep it fresh.

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Today the lavender bouquets were 50% off (that’s $10.00) to fill your room with lavender.
If you’d like a guided tour of the Lavender Farm, Kula Country Farms, Ulupalakua Ranch please call us and we’ll personalize it for you. ~ Marilyn

 

Marilyn Jansen Lopes
http://mauicountryfarmtours.com
808 283-9131
@jamarilyn on Twitter

Maui Coffee is happening!

 

I know it’s been a while but here we are with a beautiful visual of our recent West Maui Coffee Tour. I was asked by Stephanie Hua of @lickmyspoon to share our West Maui Coffee Tour. She was here for the Kapalua Food and Wine festival and she will feature us on her blog. It was a gorgeous day at Piliani Kope Farm with Greg Stille. Susy was busy with another group tour so we coordinated our private tour with Greg and received an in- depth educational tour on coffee from field to cup. We sampled cacao straight from the pod.
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My guests were thrilled to tromp through the field with Greg learning about perma culture and sustainable farming practices on a two-acre organic coffee farm. Stephanie’s husband David @Hua was blown away by the view and how Greg uses plants to aerate the soil and funnel water and nutrients to the coffee roots. Every plant has its purpose to work symbiotically  either by attracting bees to pollinate the coffee flowers or to nourish the soil.
After a lovely lunch prepared by Whole Foods Market Kahului and fresh Papaya from our garden, MauiGold pineapple from @KulaFields we headed up to the barn to roast coffee. Stephanie bagged coffee and labeled the finished product as David filmed the experience. I filmed them. They were lovely and Greg Stille is an amazing man with a passion for growing coffee and the entire process. Greg is also president of the Maui Coffee Association. He and Susy have created  a beautiful farm that everyone who wants to get closer to the land on Maui should experience.

Kanaka Kope Coffee

Greg Stille and Stephanie Hua

After Piliani Kope Farm we traveled to the amazing five hundred acre Ka`anapali Coffee Estate and as you’ll see in the video above, it is huge in comparison to the intimate family farm but also a great adventure to see acres and acres of coffee growing above the resorts of Ka`anapali Beach. Just minutes away from the ocean you can be at 600 ft. amid thousands of coffee trees. MauiGrown Coffee is sold all over the world in 100 lb. bags ready to roast.  We visited Jeff Ferguson at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store by the big old Pioneer Mill Tower. You can’t miss it in Lahaina.

 

So if you want to experience an amazing, beautiful tour call us at 808 283-9131

In the fall at the first full moon we’ll be harvesting coffee at Piliani Kope Farm.

Aloha,

~ Marilyn