Tag Archives: AKL Maui

Let’s Talk Story

Chinese at Ocean VodkaWe’ve had an exciting couple of weeks sharing Maui’s Agricultural beauty. I was honored to have fourteen guests from Hong Kong China on a special Farm Tour. I received the urgent call from Hong Kong. The lady wanted to book my tour for her guests to be picked up at Andaz Wailea and said they would like to do tastings, see lots of flowers, have a sit down lunch in a restaurant, see pineapple, taste pineapple and then be dropped off at Lahaina Harbor Pacific Whale Foundation for shopping. I customized a tour for them. As you can see we had a wonderful time. Andaz WaileaUpon arrival at the beautiful Andaz Hotel in Wailea, I met the spokesperson for the group in the lobby. Andaz provided beautiful water bottles for the guests. This was an incentive tour for a Company providing their top achievers with a trip to Maui, Oahu and Korea. They were wonderful. A staff member traveled with us and he said his job was “to keep everyone happy” which he did. The laughter was infectious. I would talk about Maui in short segments and he would translate into Chinese. He said their island home in Hong Kong had a population of seven million, so when I mentioned Maui has a lot of cars, he laughed as we live on such a rural and beautiful island. Chinese Group ShotOur first stop was the Ocean Vodka organic farm and distillery. I had booked a short tour as I was told that Hong Kong people like a fast paced tour. We also had to fit in a lot of places so timing was very important. Everything was perfect. At Ocean Vodka, the guests loved sampling sugar, meeting the rooster, (pest control), walking out to the sugar and into the beautiful barn for a tour of the bottling and distilling areas. China girls with me at Ocean Vodka Barn They love to take pictures so I shared many a photo opportunity with my sweet and kind guests from Hong Kong. This was a young group of Chinese aged twenty five to fifty. They were so much fun. Some spoke English but it was great to have my Chinese speaking assistant on the team. He purchased Shot glass souvenirs for each guest at Ocean Vodka. The VIP (Owner of the company and his escort) actually caught up with us on the tour. We continued on to Surfing Goat Dairy for a delicious sampling of cheese. photo(63) photo(62)They surfed on the surf boards, took photos with the baby goats and really enjoyed the farm.photo 1 photo 2 photo 3  Then we headed to photo 5 photo 5 photo 4 photo 4Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm where they fell in love with the beautiful Lavender, Proteas, hydrangeas, and enjoyed more photo opportunities together. They were so amazed at the beautiful boutique, the view from AKLMAUI, and the feeling you get just being in that gorgeous place surrounded by flowers, trees, succulents, olive trees, herbs and the scent of lavender. Some enjoyed lavender lemonade, lavender tea, lavender coffee before we headed to a delicious lunch prepared at Kula Lodge. Lunch at Kula Lodge Chinese Guests Parting shotWe ordered in advance and called ahead as we departed the Lavender farm. Upon arrival everything smelled wonderful. It must have been the baby back ribs, and the kiawe in the pizza oven down below in the gardens. They loved it. After lunch we wandered the gardens and when everyone was coming back to the van I provided a platter of fresh cut Maui Gold Pineapple to sample as I played ukulele. They each took a photo with me. That was great fun. We finished off our fun day by stopping by Maui Pineapple to meet Ricky who had several pineapples for us. We all cheered and departed for Lahaina, arriving in perfect time give or take a few minutes for their shopping trip. Aloha Oe, I had a wonderful day with all my Chinese guests. Look forward to sharing Maui’s Agricultural beauty again and again. Next time we go to the Dragonfruit farm, Lahaina Family Farm, Lahaina Animal Farm and Kaanapali Coffee Farms. Call Me 808 283-9131 or email info@mauicountryfarmtours.com

End of Summer Sale

Hookipa lookoutBe the first to book a tour with Maui Country Farm Tours on a limited sale price of $100.00 per person for the half-day tour when you book 4 persons. BOOK NOW. This offer lasts until August 15th, 2013. (tours until December 31, 2013) Private Tours are $225.00 per person.
Our Best selling Tour is the half day tour. I know it’s because there’s so much to see and even the regular price is nice. $150.00  There are so many stops and rich experiences on our agricultural tour Up-Country Maui.
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. 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.
pineapple
DSC_0151After 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

Add Surfing Goat Dairy or Ocean Vodka Organic farm and Distillery for an additional $25.00 per person.

ocean vodka barn

~Marilyn

Call me 808 283-9131 to book your tour and take advantage of this offer.

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

Kupu Maui Pop-Up Brunch

Dania Katz

April 19, 2012 Dania Katz, Chef and farmer James Simpliciano and Chef Jenna Haugaard made their dream come true…

They created the first Kupu Maui Pop Up brunch event at Ali`i Kula Lavender FarmLocal Maui Fruit plattersInspired by other Pop Up restaurants in Honolulu like “The Pig and The Lady”, Dania was determined to pull it off on Maui. With her Twitter and facebook following as well as relationships within the community that she has built for years, Dania knew this would be a great success. It is so pertinent to the current food and farm movement nationally. We smile when we think of Farm-To-table and are so happy to get together with friends over beautiful tables of freshly prepared food grown on Maui. Dania said “We love to feed people” and they fed us in style.

The first course above were platters of beautifully cut local Maui papayas, strawberries, mulberries, Maui Gold pineapple and fresh limes of course, to squeeze over our papaya. Trays of miniature muffins were served as Chai smoked pork made it’s way to our tables. The turn out was overwhelming. Approximately forty guests arrived all by responding to the Tweet-Vite that Dania had posted. I heard there was a waiting list. It was so great to see familiar faces of friends we know in real life already and have shared so many memories together.

Here’s Chef James preparing gorgeous tomatoes for the salad and Chef Jenna in the background with the fruit platters.

It was all about the Food. There was an air of excitement and fun and happiness for the first Kupu Maui Brunch. We all love the Lavender Farm. Even Pomai Weigert and Koa Chang were there to share the experience. Joel Katz played jazzy music on his Gibson electric guitar to set the mood.

Princess Pomai                                                                           @PrincessPomai of Ali`i Kula Lavender

Anyone want pork? Yes!!! Chai Smoked Pork was so moist and delicious. I love how it was served in cast iron platters with handles at each table. We picked to our hearts content while juices of tangerine, strawberry and orange spritzers were poured for each of us. The whole show was orchestrated so smoothly with other family members and friends helping out.

Who wants porkI didn’t get photos of each dish, but next we dined on beautiful local Maui purple sweet potatoes, ulu and beets roasted and topped with a creamy wonderful sauce.

I heard Gunars and JoRene Valkirs mention these came from their Kapalua farm. I was sitting next to them at my table.

We loved the quinoa dish that followed and we wondered upon the first bite, “What is that flavor?”  There were so many textures and layers. I need  to ask Jenna about the dressing in that tabouli-like dish. It had sweetness, nuttiness, fluffy quinoa, kale chiffonade, cranberries and delicious pumpkin. Everything was perfect. Not too filling and very satisfying.

Friends were taking pictures like crazy as we always do at TweetUps. Sorry my camera was one F-stop off and I was too busy talking and eating to take the best pics this day. It was a fantastic morning all about the food and friendship.

                                                                          Liza Pierce of @MauiBlog and Sara Tekula

                                                                                          Kim Hauiesen and friends

                                                                                          Joyce Chin and Erik Blair

                                                                                     Jill Mayo of Living Maui Social

And then dessert!!! Did someone say strawberry PIE?

This delicious strawberry pie smothered in lime truffle was mouth watering delightful. I almost left early without having a bite but couldn’t resist such huge strawberries in a flaky crust topped with this lovely lime truffle.

Kula Strawberry Pie                                                                                         Everything was fabulous!

Congratulations, Dania, Jenna and James for a fantastic Farm-to-Table event and the first Pop-Up Brunch on Maui.

We look forward to sharing every month with you and the world. Everyone follow @KupuMaui on Twitter for updates.

 

Aloha,

Marilyn

Call me if you’d like a private farm tour designed just for you. 808 283-9131

 

Lavender ~ What We Love About It

Spanish Lavender at AKL MAui

   The thought of lavender conjures images of purple fields sloping on a mountain looking out to the sea…

   The feeling is relaxation, one of lavender’s most potent properties. It directly affects the central nervous system. The benefits of lavender are more than wonderful.

  Just being near acres of lavender, drinking a blend of lavender mint tea surrounded by others enjoying the beauty, is a serene place to rest the soul and spirit.
 

  Learning that lavender is a natural antiseptic, disinfectant, bug repellent, that can heal cuts and scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, has healing and moisturizing properties to the skin are the multiple benefits of lavender.
A day at the lavender farm leaves me with images of flowers, scenic vistas, pathways with flora and fauna, scents and textures of geraniums, protea, macadamia, ferns, avocado, bonsai, Ohia Lehua, allyssum, nasturtium, bamboo, hydrangea, rosemary in a woven tapestry painting in my mind.

Scenic view from Akl Maui
  Whatever anxiety of the world might have been with me is released into the infinite air and what lingers is lavender and beauty and thankfulness… thinking what can I do to give back as they have done here at Ali`i Kula Lavender.
Protea
                                                                         Tell me, what do you love about lavender?

 
Come join us for a walking tour, lavender tea and scones as part of our Up-Country Farm Tour.

  ~ Marilyn
808 283-9131


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?

Give the Gift of Maui

Happy Holidays, everyone. Aloha from Maui, Hawaii. And to those who live on this beautiful island I hope you’re enjoying your Island Life. I can’t think of anywhere in the world that I’d rather be except visiting my home and family in the mountains of California amid pine trees, sage brush, wild life and the possibility of snow for Christmas.

I’ve never felt trapped on the island with “Rock Fever” as I love Maui with a passion and feel that I belong here. It does feel like Christmas in Hawaii too. In the most subtle ways, the weather has gotten cooler, friends are gathering, there’s Holiday craft fairs, Christmas trees, First Light Film Festival, poinsettias blooming, travelers arriving with an increased energy on our island.

When you’re doing something you love, like sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty, its exciting and fulfilling. We’re visiting our favorite places Up-Country, spending time under giant trees, slowing down the pace to the country life, picking herbs and flowers, buying fresh produce from local farmers and learning about lavender, wine, coffee, nutrition, sharing the history of  Maui, all while traveling along in our big white eight passenger bus with the huge picture windows.

Maui Country Farm Tours VanThe best part about this is bringing attention to Maui’s Farms and inspiring others to support local farmers. It is my hope that young people on Maui will create more farms and develop the cottage industries all over our island. When people buy the added-value products the success stories will come.  AKL Maui, Kula Country Farms and Surfing Goat Dairy are the examples to follow. With a dream and a passion anyone with a vision and a burning desire to never give up, can make it happen. There are over eight hundred farms on Maui. We’d like to learn about them all and share it with you.

  We met over thirty new baby goats at Surfing goat dairy learning the ropes at the farm. Guests giggled and had so much fun feeding the mamas and photographing the babies. They’re best in motion performing their antics. (Adorable) Then we sampled a flight of  gourmet cheese from Udderly Delicious to Men’s Challenge and Mandalay.

If you want to give a gift that will be remembered for a lifetime, give the gift of Maui Country Farm Tours to yourself and loved ones. It’s perfect for a family and friends as our van can accommodate seven passengers. I’m the guide along with my husband Ricky who has lived on Maui all his life. He’ll tell you the stories of the old days here on the island. His Portuguese ancestors go back to the late 1800’s on Maui. He loves to customize the tour for you. For instance, if you’d like to visit the Sugar Museum or check out the sugar cane field and photograph the old churches and Chinese villages in Kula, or a citrus farm owned by his old friend in Ulupalakua, we’ll take you there.

So call us asap to book your tour or click on the Gift Certificate link to send gifts to your friends and family. They can call at their convenience to book in advance of their arrival on Maui.

I Had This Idea For A Farm Tour

I had this idea for a Scenic Farm Tour…

We acquired this beautiful bus from the Old Maui Pineapple company auction. It had been used by Kapalua Hotel as a shuttle.

Maui Country Farm Tours Van  When things began to change on Maui and the economy got crazy, I thought let’s do something we might really enjoy that could also bring attention to the farms on Maui. I was especially concerned when I heard that we could run out of food in a week and a half, if the ships stopped coming to our island. This was shocking to think that in a perfect climate we weren’t growing enough food to sustain the population, when Hawaiians had survived here for over eight hundred years living off the land and the sea.

I knew that the sugar cane was diminishing and Maui has the only working sugar plantation in the state. I envisioned the future of Hawaii as a series of cottage crops all over the island sustaining the people. But how will this get started if young people don’t take interest in farming and agriculture? The average farmer is sixty years old. Kula Country Farms was started by young farmers Chauncey Monden and Teena Monden, growing pumpkins, corn, onions, strawberries, herbs, flowers and whatever is in season. The Lavender Farm, “Ali`i Kula Lavender” is thriving and carrying on the legacy of Ali`i Chang it’s founder and providing scholarships to the youth of Maui who qualify to learn the business of agriculture. Lani and Pomai Weigert have traveled around the US and Canada teaching what they have learned about their successful “Country Chic” Brand.   I recently attended the “Added-Value” Workshop sponsored by Market Fresh Bistro in Makawao where several of Hawaii’s growers shared information on product creativity, product development and their stories of how they put together their businesses. Lani shared how they received their first $100,000.00 USDA added-value grant. Added-Value means products. I learned so much about products created for sale from ingredients Grown On Maui. For more information on Grants go to Grants.gov  We are so inspired by Lani Weigert  of the Lavender Farm and now Pomai  Weigert and Koa Chang who run operations. As they explain, originally they marketed to the seniors and now they are focusing on the youth.

Koa Chang of Ali`i Kula Lavender

I began the process of marketing when I created my books, The Amaryllis of Hawaii series, what a ride. I have been an organic gardener since twenty-five years old, I love to cook, and do every creative thing I can get my hands on. I have a burning desire to share with the world so I offer it daily via Twitter, Facebook, Flicker and You-Tube. Coming soon, much more video teaching of how to cook, how to plant and how to create whatever I’m up to at the time such as card-making, sewing, quilting, painting on tees, plant a tree, planting bulbs, making a pie-crust, lemon-meringue pie, apple pies, pumpkin pies, lilikoi jelly, stuffing a turkey and the whole day. I’m also a registered nurse and really enjoy giving that added attention to my guests.

Amaryllis of Hawaii By Marilyn Jansen

So, I thought why not create a country farm tour. I LOVE country and everything nostalgic about  country living. I live Up-Country on Maui on the slopes of Haleakala. It’s quiet, with chickens and roosters crowing in the distance and peacocks too. There’s a pig farm nearby and on some mornings we hear deer nearby. My husband knows the sound they make. On Sundays there’s no traffic passing by so you really get the feel of what Maui must have been like in the olden days.

Kula Country Farms

Aloha from Kula Country Farms

I wanted to take people back to a simpler place and time. I wanted to go there myself. So we started Maui Country Farm Tours “Sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty” and presented at The Maui Ag Festival 2011. People responded with great interest. It seems the Food Movement across the world is taking hold and people do want to know where their food is grown. Locavore is becoming a household word.

So here we go. I thought why not pick up people at Whole Foods (a great starting point and a wonderful supporter of local farmers) then take them on a scenic drive where local people might go on a Sunday drive. We go to Ho`okipa to check out the magnificent surf, then head up to the country.

Since my husband was born and raised in the Pineapple Camp (Hali`i Maile) we journey through pineapple country which is also diminishing since Maui Pineapple was sold in 2010. Now the boutique Pineapple company Hali`i Maile Pineapple sells the Maui Gold Pineapple and grow on approximately 1200 acres. They have pineapple tours, also. We tell the story of my husband’s experiences growing up in the camp then head on over to scenic Ulupalakua. The best part about this is actually slowing down long enough to feel the quiet, to relax under one hundred and fifty year old trees and picnic on the ranch.

Next we stop at Kula Country Farms overlooking all of  West Maui. My goal was to get people excited about the beauty and the products of Maui. Teena and Chauncey have created a charming farm stand on an actual working farm with chickens, goats, and changing colorful crops year round. The hands on strawberry picking, Feb-May and Pumpkin time Sept-Oct makes it a great activity for families on Maui.

We arrive at the Lavender Farm for Tea and scones then take an amazing walking tour and fill our pockets with scented lavender, geraniums and the story of the farm.

I started with the popular farms, but with over eight hundred farms on Maui it is truly my goal to introduce others that qualify for tours. I plan to visit as many as possible and do virtual tours at first to bring attention to their products and hopefully interest more and more people around the world about everything that comes out of our islands.

Of Course we go to Surfing Goat Dairy and we love the pride they have fortheir farm and the cheese making process!

Charlene Kauhane of Kauhane Inc. is responsible for promoting Maui County Farm Bureau and hosted several Grown on Maui events in the month of September. See Maui County Farm Bureau

I’m hoping you will spread the word and everyone who takes our tour writes a review at Tripadvisor.com by typing in Maui Country Farm Tours to find us or clicking on the link above, and then clicking on Write Review.

We’ve got Coffee Tours in the works and the Story of Chocolate by Melanie Boudar, the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier coming soon…

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Promises… promises…

Call me to book a tour at 808 283-9131 and call me with any questions you might have about farms on Maui. If we don’t know we’ll find out for you.

I get a lot of calls about Kula Country Farms. You can check out their page on Facebook.