#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

West Maui Coffee Tour

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Last week we took some guests from Canada on our West Side Coffee Tour and I decided to surprise my husband and the guests with a few of my friends waiting at Lahaina Harbor when we arrived to pick them up for the tour. Well I did mention to “daddy” on the way that there might be a few additional guests. He said “How many?” I said “Four” … “Six total” 😉 So it was great. We arrive in Lahaina and by the Banyan tree our Canadian guests recognize our bus and approached us. We have met so many wonderful people in the last six months doing the tours here on Maui.

We proceeded towards the harbor and there was Jill Mayo @Mauisocial on twitter. Jill really wanted to experience this part of my tour at Piliani Kope Coffee farm. I had also received a text from @LifeinParadise Aimee Paradise Singer (also part of the Living Maui Social team) asking could she and her boyfriend come. My friend James Simpliciano is a chef on Maui and also a small farmer. This was an awesome group and made it more fun for my guests from Canada. They really had hoped to meet some of the locals and have an experience getting close to the land.

Thanks to Jill Mayo for creating this video at Living Maui Social for Maui Country Farm Tours.

Getting close to the land with Greg and Susy Stille was priceless. We arrived at the barn at the top of Launiupoko which is backed to the West Maui mountains at the six hundred foot level. The barn doors were closed due to gusty winds coming off the mountains so we entered to the side door into the gorgeous coffee barn. Immediately everyone was so surprised at the amazing space that Greg and Susy have created. In front of the barn you notice the name engraved in concrete Piliani Kope Coffee Farm. There are French windows that flood the barn with light. The opposite end of the barn doors are rolled up to reveal a big view of the ocean and the farm.

Piliani Kope Coffee Farm
Fresh roasted and ground Coffee was brewing in a few pots with little sipping cups ready for us to taste. Susy had prepared fluffy looking pastries topped with apple bananas from the farm and I had the big ginger cookies from Whole Foods Market Kahului. They gave us the option of coffee now or later and we said “Now, Please” and so the experience began. Everyone wandered in the barn studying beautiful coffee machines for roasting, pulping, drying racks and also gifts, t-shirts and books for sale on various displays. They have traveled to Indonesia and acquired amazing wooden furniture and doors for their barn.
Nourishing the soil at Piliani Kope Coffee Farm
So after a taste of coffee we follow Greg and Susy into the field. It’s a two acre organic coffee farm. No pesticides or commercial fertilizers are used. The land was so rich with moisture and fertility.
Greg explained to us how he plants daikon, carrots, Italian parsley, allyssum, wild cherry tomatoes all to enhance the growing of the coffee. The ground is completely covered with nitrogen fixing pea plants making a deep, moist earthy trek through the coffee. I love how Greg explains that they plant the daikon and other root vegetables to pull nutrients from deep in the soil up to the top six to eight inches where the coffee roots are. They leave the root veggies to rot in the earth creating a funnel for water which aerates the soil and also delivers the nutrients more easily. This is so COOL. We tasted coffee cherries and learned that the fruit is used in energy drinks and teas, and the girls at AKLMaui are working on a skin care product using the coffee cherry.
Attracting beneficial insects to coffee flowers
They also plant tons of seeds for plants that have small flowers to attract the small bugs that are beneficial to pollinating the coffee flowers. Coffee flowers are very small fragrant white beautiful flowers that are in the gardenia family.
The coffee trees are descendants of the original Typica plants that were brought from Brazil to Hawaii by Governor Boki in 1825 on his way back from England. It is called “Kanaka Kope” and birds carried the seeds from the other side of Maui into the valley behind Greg and Susy’s place where the wild coffee plants took root. On hikes into the valley they discovered the trees and started planting seedlings on their property. They would carry out five gallon buckets on forty-five minute walks carrying the seedlings.
This is when they fell in love with the idea of growing coffee on Maui. Greg was originally in the grocery business in California and was looking for his dream on Maui and what to do when he retired. Hence Piliani Kope Coffee was born.
Greg Stille at Piliani Kope Coffee Farm
 Greg has amazing knowledge and pride in this farm. Together he and Susy have created their dream. We were all so thrilled to share in the Piliani Kope Coffee Farm experience. Trekking through the nitrogen fixing pea plants and nasturtium, Italian Parsley, carrots, radishes, daikon, calendulas, alyssum, coffee trees, tomatoes, cacao and some native plants like Ma`o (a native cotton) made me want get home and dig in the garden again and dream up my own farm.
Up at the barn we enjoyed our wonderful lunch prepared by Whole Foods Market Kahului and fruits from our place up-Country. Local oranges, lilikoi, apple bananas and pineapple were amazing.
Greg began roasting the coffee and we learned how gradually he raises the temperature to create the desired result. He let me choose how to make the blend. Today he was combining a yellow caturra and red catuai which I knew could be a spicy rich cabernet like blend.
So he went with a medium dark roast. As the coffee beans cooled Susy began to bag them in bright red foil 1/2 pound bags crimping them with her foot pedaled machine. We bought coffee and gifts.
Everyone loved this process and wanted to hold the barrel of coffee beans for a picture.
Roasting at Piliani Kope Coffee MauiGrown Coffee
Susy Stille Piliani Kope Coffee Farm
After Piliani Kope coffee farm We dropped our friends off at the harbor and continued the tour with our Canadian guests on to the Ka`anapali Coffee Farms to get the perspective of 2 acres compared to five hundred acres of coffee trees row after row after row.
Ka`anapali Coffee Farms MauiGrown Coffee
It is a beautiful sight and we loved climbing up the platform to view the trees from above.  I am so happy that James Kimo Falconer who originally worked as farmer with Pioneer Mill before it closed it’s doors in 2001 has revived the coffee farm and harvests MauiGrown Coffee. You can visit the website to purchase coffee or go to the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store at the big smoke stack landmark in Lahaina. I have learned so much about coffee here. The yellow caturra, a semi dwarf which likes hot dry conditions is the first to harvest in the fall. It has a yellow cherry rather than the typical red cherry. It is said to have a spicy undertone when roasted medium to dark. The Red Catuai also a semi-dwarf which likes the hot dry Ka`anapali climate is a cross between Caturra and Mundo Novo. This cross breeding occurred in Brazil in the 1960’s. It is said to be the cabernet of coffees. The reds are harvested in late fall. The other two coffees grown at Ka`anapali Coffee Farms are the Typicas and the Maui Mokka. The Typicas are grown on an area of the farm without pesticides for several years. They hope to go into organic production with them.  They are similar to the Kona Coffees except they are grown on Maui.
The name Mokka is taken from a port Al Mokha near it’s origin in Yemen (Ethiopia) the mother of all coffee. (Arabicas)
The Maui Mokka has a small bean, has a low yield and difficult to harvest therefore it is more rare. It also has chocolate flavors and a smooth good acidity. It is gaining notoriety all over the world. The coffee is harvested by machine on the five hundred acres and one hundred pound bags of green beans go to market all over the world.
We finished off the tour with a drive to the old Kapalua pineapple plantation and Honolua Bay. Our guests absolutely loved the tour and we were so glad to have shared Maui’s Agricultural Beauty on Maui Country Farm Tours. Looking forward to many more West Side Coffee Tours. If you’d like to experience it give us a call. 808 283-9131
Honolua Bay
We’ll personalize a country farm tour just for you…
Jill Mayo and Aimee Paradise SInger
MauiGrown Coffee Beans at Piliani Kope

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?