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The WEST MAUI FARM TOUR

LAHAINA ANIMAL FARM, MAUI DRAGON-FRUIT FARM and Simpli-Fresh FARM TOUR

ripe coffee cherries at Piliani Kope Farm photo by Marilyn Jansen LopesAloha everyone, our West Maui Farm Tour has changed due to the Kaʻanapali Coffee Farms closing to the public recently.  The coffee Berry borer wiped out one third of the crop in Kona and was discovered on Oahu at the Dole Plantation and we do not want it to spread to Maui. It could be devastating.

It’s so sad not to be able to wander into the coffee trees but we visit these gorgeous farms in Launiupoko and were thrilled to meet Teresa Waters of the Lahaina Animal Farm and Crystal of the Maui Dragonfruit Farm. We are offering the new tours to these locations and finishing at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store and Simpli Fresh Farm at the top of the scenic Lahaina Bypass Highway.

We Pick up at Kahului Harbor 8:30 AM, Whole Foods Market 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. 8:45 AM and Lahaina Harbor 9:15 AM then we travel to Launiupoko to Lahaina Animal Farm. Teresa Waters with Kelsie and Baby DollWe start with an introduction to the gorgeous farm 500 ft. above the sea. Then we meet Ramsey the Ram, beautiful horses, Elsie Mae the young donkey, Baby doll, a miniature horse who is barefoot and pregnant all the time. (They breed horses as assistance animals because they live much longer than assistance dogs) The property is magnificent with a gorgeous guest ranch home (that people can rent) backed to the West Maui Mountains and Launiupoko Gulch. There are designer chickens, ducks, a tilapia pond with fat healthy fish, a garden, aDSC_0011 lilikoi gazebo, a seven year old tortoise named Hulk, and his girlfriend, a couple of friendly pigs, Rhode Island Reds, sweet goats and it’s immaculate. We enjoy the walk and meeting all the animals then some fresh squeezed lilikoi juice in the shade.

photo 3(3)Everyone wants to stay and stay but we give our aloha to all the animals and head on our way to the Maui Dragon Fruit Farm

 

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We can see the blue blue sea and the island of Lanai from this unique place where they have planted the dragon fruit cactus which produces beautiful exotic flowers then fruits. They are seasonal, so eventually they will offer Dragon fruit added value products for purchase in the beautiful bamboo house where we will sample Maui Gold Pineapple year round and Dragon fruit when in season (July-November). DSC_0059 DSC_0063 DSC_0053DSC_0043We’ll explore the 26 acres from their lookout platform overlooking the dragonfruit and their zip-line and rolling ball that people adventure on other activity tours.

Then it’s off to the Launiupoko Beach Park for a picnic lunch followed by coffee and cookies at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store. You’ll learn about growing coffee beans, harvesting and the art of processing coffee, from picking, drying, pulping to roasting and tasting the fresh roasted Coffee. There are four varieties of coffee grown here.green coffee cherries Red Catuai is said to be the Cabernet of coffee by certain coffee writers. Yellow Caturra has a yellow cherry unlike the typical red coffee cherry and has spicy undertones. ripe coffee cherries at Piliani Kope Farm photo by Marilyn Jansen LopesThey grow Typicas which are from the original coffees brought to Kona, but are grown on Maui. Finally, the Maui Mokka is grown nowhere else in the world. It was originally from Ethiopia and cultivated in Yemen. The Mokka on Maui is a hybrid grown only on Maui. It is rare and wonderful with chocolaty undertones when the cherries are aged an additional six months to bring out the flavors. The wonderful picnic lunch with sandwiches provided by Whole Foods Kahului chosen at time of booking. (Choices are: Turkey-Bacon-Avocado-Spinach-Aioli, Classic Italian, or Veggie) and Fresh island fruits and juices.Kaanapali-Coffee-Farms our van

This is a photo of the four different varieties of coffee growing at Kaʻanapali Coffee Farms. In the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store, you’ll learn how they harvest the rare Mokka Variety which is gaining notoriety as a MauiGrown Coffee. In the past, If we were lucky we got to observe some of the harvesting process. With such a large acreage it must be done by machines that go through the rows and rows of coffee trees. Its a rich adventure.

You can shop at The Maui Grown Coffee Company Store for gifts and meet Jeff Ferguson who manages the store. (closed Sundays) You can ship coffee home directly from the store.

Then we’ll be heading up Lahainaluna Road to James and Janell Simpliciano’s Farm “SIMPLI FRESH” to explore all they grow, which is just about everything from sweet potatoes, taro, bananas, papaya, ti leaves, tomatoes, lemongrass, watercress, star fruit, mango and so much more. They’ve found old watercress patches planted by Chinese immigrants during the sugar eras of one hundred and sixty years on Maui. Sugar cane from some the original Hawaiian Canoe crops have been discovered on these slopes of West Maui where inside this range of mountains is the second wettest place on earth. Many streams came out of these mountains supporting life for over one thousand  years.

Then we cruise through quaint Lahaina Town back to the Harbor at 2PM and Kahului by 3PM. You’ll return with a memory for life. Tour 5 hours. Cost of Tour: $175.00 Call Marilyn at 808 283-9131 to book your farm tour. Lahaina pick ups are included on the West Maui Farm Tours.

(Private tours $225.00 per person will be customized for you.) 2012-09-03 11.35.072012-09-02 10.21.40

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

Tasting the Best of Maui Tours

We Love sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty and soon we’ll add the Road To Hana (half-way to Hana) where we’ll explore a cacao farm, native plant farms, botanical gardens, taro farms and the bamboo forest with small tours at each location and a wonderful tropical picnic lunch before heading back to civilization… Ask us now and we’ll customize a tour for your group.
 HALF-DAY TOURS
9 AM Our Morning Up-Country Farm 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 the historical old town of Paia, then on to Ho`okipa Beach Park for some photos overlooking the magnificent surf.
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. But 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.
After traveling through the pineapple camp we head to Ulupalakua for a wonderful scenic drive and stop at Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Maui’s Winery. Guests enjoy a complimentary wine tasting in the Tasting room once the King’s Cottage in the 1800’s.
maui's wineryYou’ll learn the history of the 150 year old ranch along the way and be amazed at the feeling of old Maui when you arrive to see the trees planted by captain James Makee in the late 1850’s. 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. After Ulupalakua 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 (planted on Maui in the 1970’s) from South Africa and Australia, now planted with lavender, edible gardens, citrus, avocado and olives. There’s even a cinnamon tree. 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. (Otherwise private.)

Private tours are $225.00 per person and you’ll love having the van all to yourself.

Pride of America Cruise ship passengers are picked up at the Kahului harbor at 8:30 AM.

All others meet at Whole Foods Kahului by 8:45 AM. We now pick up at Lahaina Harbor and Wailea for an additional $50.00 per person. Add 90 minutes on to your tour for those pick ups.

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 -5:00 PM


Deluxe Up-Country Photo Farm Tour:

~ Scenic Ocean View Tour of Ho`okipa Beach Park

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~ History of Sugar Cane on Maui ~ Old Town Of Paia

~ Pineapple Country

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~ Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch

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~ Lunch created by Whole Foods Kahului. Maui.

Then … Your choice of either Surfing Goat dairy or the NEW OCEAN VODKA ORGANIC FARM AND DISTILLERY.

Surfing Goat Dairy walking tour, cheese sampling where you’ll see the goats up close, learn about the dairy and cheese making process and you’ll love the many cheeses flavored with herbs from the 42 ACRE farm. They have 18 award winning cheeses. Feeding-the-goatsNew Ocean Vodka Organic Sugar Farm and Distillery and bottling operation. (opened for tours April 29, 2013) where we’ll experience the amazing organic sugar farm plantings and learn how Ocean Vodka is created from desalinated Sea water, fermented with the sugar and the distilling and bottling process. You can shop for vodka and gifts.The barn The sugar cane

~ Gift shops at each location and plenty of areas to relax and enjoy the view. The all day tour begins at 9:00 AM but pick up times are ~ 8:30 AM from Kahului Harbor, varies at Lahaina Harbor depending on the ship schedule, ~ 8:45 AM from Whole Foods 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. in Kahului.

We return to Kahului by 4 PM and Lahaina must add 45 minutes. If your ship departs that evening from Lahaina harbor, it’s best to book a morning tour (1/2 day). The tour is $175.00 per person
Private tours are available for $225.00 per person.

WEST MAUI COFFEE TOUR

Pick up at Kahului Harbor 8:30 AM, Whole Foods Market 70 Ka`ahumanu Ave. 8:30 AM and Lahaina Harbor 9:15 AM then we travel to Launiupoko to Piliani Kope Coffee Farm. 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. 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. You’ll love the views of the valley and mountains behind the farm and the ocean views from Piliani Kope Farm. It’s  a gorgeous state of the art barn with beautiful light from the French Windows over the coffee bar. Indonesian carved woods, and unique coffee processing machines are a work of art. 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

Then we explore the Ka`anapali Coffee estates where 500 acres of coffee are grown and four varieties of coffee trees, thanks to James (Kimo) Falconer who resurrected the Coffee Trees and created the MauiGrown Coffee brand. Kaanapali-Coffee-Farms our van

You’ll see four different varieties of coffee growing and learn about how they harvest the rare Mokka Variety which is gaining notoriety as a MauiGrown Coffee. If we’re lucky we’ll get to observe some of the harvesting process. With such a large acreage it must be done by machines that go through the rows and rows of coffee trees. Its a rich adventure. Then we hop back in the bus for a scenic tour to shop at The Maui Grown Coffee Company Store for gifts and meet Jeff Ferguson who manages the store. (closed Sundays) We’ll samples fresh roasted Mokka and Peaberry or Catuai. You can ship coffee home directly from the store. Then we cruise through quaint Lahaina Town back to the Harbor at 2PM and Kahului by 3PM. You’ll return with a memory for life. Tour 5 hours. (Private tours $225.00 per person) will be personalized for you) Cost of Tour: $175.00 Call Marilyn at 808 283-9131 to book your farm tour. Lahaina pick ups are included on the West Maui Coffee Tours.

SHORT TOURS

 

THE SUGAR EXPRESS TOUR Have a short time and want to see some of Maui’s agricultural beauty? Take The Sugar Express Tour. We take you up into Iao Valley, a lush tropical rainforest just minutes above Wailuku town. You’ll be able to see the rushing stream and the famous Iao Needle. We’ll take photographs and provide you with a digital postcard after your trip. Then we’ll proceed up to the Maui Tropical Plantation for a wonderful Tram Tour which travels through a 60-acre working plantation and takes about 35-40 minutes. You’ll see where they grow all of the Tropical Fruits and Flowers along with breathtaking scenery. Along the way you’ll learn about Coconuts and even see a Coconut Husking Demonstration. Now there’s the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier cottage right next to the tram ride. Lot’s of gift shopping available. There’s also Kumu Farms planting food at the plantation with plans for a hands on picking produce market. They’ll ship papayas anywhere in the USA. It’s a really beautiful place. As we leave Maui Tropical Plantation we’ll head to the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum, a delightful collection of sugar memorabilia from actual workers in the cane fields. You’ll see how a sugar mill works and the history of sugar on Maui. This is the last working sugar mill in the State of Hawaii at Puunene. The “Sugar Express Tour(9 AM-12 noon) Cost is $120.00 Kama aina is 10% discount. Waters and juices are provided on the tour. Call 808 283-9131 ~ ask for Marilyn

Private Tours are available for $225.00 per person. (The whole van for your group)

Look forward to seeing you on our tours…

~ Aloha everyone

All Tours have a 72 Hour Cancellation Policy

 

Maui Agriculture is Happening

Silver leaf Protea view2013-02-26 14.44.56We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty. What’s not to love? We get to be out on our beautiful island enjoying the beauty as we share our passion and love for this place with people from all over the world. Maui is such a beautiful place to live. The land is rich in culture and beauty all year round. Soon the big surf and humpback whales will arrive. In December, that is… As the summer winds down and kids are back to school we are celebrating the bounty of Hawaii with many events all over the island. On any given day you’ll find so much to do but especially weekends on Maui. Each Friday has a special event in one of our towns. Saturdays you might find five different events including Farmer’s Markets all over the island. See the Edible Hawaiian Islands Farmers Market Guide for all islands.

If you want to get close to the land and learn about the farms on Maui, go meet the farmers at the markets. There are over 800 farmers on Maui. Not all farms are ready for Ag-Tourism but they are ready to sell their goods at the farmers markets and various restaurants and stores of our island. We love to buy local honey, fresh eggs, lettuces, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, string beans, lilikoi, (passionfruit), asparagus, coffee and flowers. There are musicians at the Up Country Farmer’s Market on Saturday Morning too. You can always find delicious savory and sweet pastries by Barbara and Chris of SoMoore. (You always want some more). You never know what to expect. One day might have a pop-up restaurant from Honolulu visiting like Pig and The Lady serving Vietnamese Food.

Coffee is happening right now on Maui. There are over one hundred members of the Maui Coffee Association with some growing only two trees like us, others with over three hundred trees. Each area has a different climate. The award winning Keokea Coffee Growers are just finishing their harvest while West Maui growers are into the fall harvest. We love to do the seed-to-cup experience on our West Maui Coffee Tours. 2012-09-03 11.35.072012-09-02 10.21.40

Kaanapali Fresh is happening again August 30, 31. It starts Friday evening with “Mixology” and a progressive farm-to-table dinner in Kaanapali Beach with entertainment by Jake Shimabukuro. Saturday morning features a Beach side farmer’s Market and Coffee Tour with lunch on a gorgeous estate in the middle of five hundred acres of coffee trees. The evening celebrates Food and wine with entertainment by Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliam and Makana. Get your tickets here.

If you want an experience of a lifetime in the country on Maui including entertainment too, call me!

808 283-9131 We will personalize a tour for you… See the tours Up-Country Farm Tours, West Maui Coffee Tours, Private Tours, All day tours or half day tours morning or afternoon. Ladies want to see  gardens and flowers we will design a beautiful day with lavender tea or coffee and scones for you.

Farmers let us know what interests you. There are over five thousand head of cattle at Ulupalakua Ranch plus elk, sheep and goats. Maui is small but so diverse in its agriculture. Come enjoy the beauty of Maui on a country farm tour.

Beautiful Maui

We love sharing Maui’s Agricultural beauty… Some of our favorite things to show you are Ulupalakua Ranch below and Maui’s Winery. Everyone loves the old trees and rich history of the land on Maui. They love tasting and learning about the wines made on Maui from four different grapes and from Pineapple. The scenic vistas from the 3, 000 ft. elevation are breathtaking and people love the relaxed drive overlooking Maui’s South shore. Wailea and Kihei are beautiful from above. We can see the Kai Kanani catamaran anchored off the Makena beach and Golf Resort. I love pointing out my favorite beach on the island, Makena Beach. Ulupalakua-scenic

Our guests are always amazed at the bi-coastal view from Ali`i Kula Lavender farm at the four thousand foot elevation. There are so many varieties of plants and flowers everywhere that it is a feast for the eyes. After enjoying a Lavender tea or coffee with a delicious lavender scone, we do a walking tour into the proteas from South Africa and Australia and lavender planted by Mr. Ali`i Chang Co-Founder of the Lavender farm. It’s a gorgeous rich experience for all. Then we travel throughout Kula, Maui sharing all the beauty and history of our island. Ricky was born and raised here and his ancestors arrived in the late 1870’s from Portugal.

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At Kula Country Farms there are dahlias, cosmos, strawberries, squash, pumpkins, sunflowers, nasturtiums, herbs, pincushion flowers and so much more. The picnic tables are just above the children’s garden with something beautiful for everyone to enjoy. At times we can meet the miniature ponies. Some days the fat chickens are running about. There are ducks too. In the adorable farm stand you can purchase Country gifts of Maui such as local honey, jams and jellies, syrups, tea towels with garden designs, art work by Meredith (one of the employees), delicious and chilled strawberry juice, (so refreshing), all the veggies, like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, string beans, peas, cabbage, lettuce, lemons, lilikoi, broccoli, squash, pumpkins and local corn. Now they have a food truck serving wonderful meals with all the local ingredients.  Teena and Chauncey Monden lease the land from the ranch to grow their crops. Originally a 10,000 acre Hawaiian Ahupua`a,  it was sold to a Chinese potato farmer, who sold it to a sugar magnate, who sold it to his grandfather, Maui senator Harold W. Rice, in 1916. (from an article in the Wall Street Journal dated January 22, 2010)

2012-10-04 14.30.42We’re looking forward to sharing Maui’s newest 82 acre farm, the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery on Omaopio Road just below Surfing Goat Dairy. We’d love to take you to both places to share the beautiful scenery, the organic sugar cane planted in rows ten feet apart. You can walk among the sugar and hear it blowing in the wind. The earth is mulched with a heavy layer of shredding from tree trimmers who deliver the mulch to the farm as an organic weed control. The vodka is created from desalinated sea water that comes from the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s shipped to Maui in containers to be be fermented with organic sugar grown right here on the farm.

It’s a gorgeous location and a very interesting process to see how vodka is made and bottled then distributed all over the country.   The barnIt’s also wonderful to see a new venture on Maui take place before our eyes.

Coming soon you can purchase bottles of Ocean Vodka on the property but they won’t be serving the alcohol on site, however, Surfing Goat Dairy has a BYOB policy that you may open alcohol and I’m told it goes perfectly with their delicious lemonade. So you can visit the gift shop, travel on up to Surfing Goat Dairy to enjoy some of their 18 award winning cheeses and possibly a little Ocean Vodka lemonade Martini.

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So if you want to get closer to the land and culture of Maui, join us for a tour of the Up-Country farms or a wonderful West Maui Coffee Tour. Proteas are blooming on the slopes of Haleakala between 2,000 and 4,000 feet on the South West facing slopes. They arrived from South Africa and Australia in the 1970’s. These amazing flowers have been on the planet since dinosaurs. It’s wonderful to walk among a prehistoric garden filled with lavender and king proteas and banksias from Australia. I love to have people feel the flowers and touch the bushes to squeeze the lavender. We walk into the lower fields to see the edible gardens and crush the leaves of the new young cinnamon tree while taking in the amazing vistas of Maui below. Guests who can’t walk as well enjoy the lanai or benches overlooking the whole lavender farm. These beautiful proteas are in bloom October through May while the majority of lavender fields are in full bloom all summer long worldwide. Some of the varieties of French, Spanish and English lavenders are in bloom year round. This tour is $175.00 per person. (6 hours)

Call to arrange your tour with us 808 283-9131 We’d love to personalize a tour for you. Private Tours are $225.00 per person

 

Morning and afternoon (1/2 day tours) Up-Country Farm Tours are $150.00 per person. (4.5 hours)

Kama`aina rate is 10% discount.

Our Coffee Tours are amazing!

You’ll see  Piliani Kope farm and Kaanapali Coffee estates where the 500 acres of MauiGrown Coffee is grown. Kaanapali-Coffee-Farms our vanKaanapali-Coffee-Farms $175.00 per person  Kama`aina rate is 10% discount (5 hours) including lunch.

We  will customize a tour to O`o Farms and Aina Lani Farm for you, or choose Three farms Up-Country you’d like to see like Enchanting Flower Gardens, Shim Coffee Farm, and the Lavender Farm.

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

It’s the little things in life

That mean so much

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Lavender in bloom

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The scent of tuber roses

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Pumpkins and farms Up country Maui

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Sharing the beauty with friends…
God is so great!

 

 

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

Sights and Scents of Maui

Sights and Scents of Maui

Maui is the most visually beautiful place

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The air is sensual and stimulating too

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Exotic flowers reach out to us to touch them. Some are soft, some fragrant, others vibrant with color and strong waxy tropical stems. Delicate plumeria fall around us waiting to be plucked and placed behind an ear.

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Gentle breezes draw us to the sea… The waves so relaxing to the eye, the color blue a healing touch to the spirit.

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Proteas from South Africa and Australia thrive on the South West slopes of Haleakala between two and four thousand feet… This island makes us feel at home… We are all from places far far away settled on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean surrounded by beauty. 
We must use every resource with care and ingenuity preparing for the future generations… Teaching skills and knowledge of the land and the sea so they can live and thrive in this beautiful place called Maui, Hawaii.

Like the King Protea that has survived since prehistoric times, sensing when to bloom and when to halt and gather its energy in the plant to strengthen the stem which will carry the blossom to maturity, we must use our wisdom before moving forward to fast and furiously. 

Stop sometimes and slow down to listen to the wind. Feel the beauty.

We love to slow down to a pace of old Maui and take you to the country.

Come enjoy a day with us on Maui. 

808 283-9131

808 280-1621

Marilyn Jansen Lopes

Hawaii Ag-Tourism News

Philadelphia Flower Show 

Big things are happening for Ag-Tourism at this very moment. Did you hear about the largest flower show in North America happening right now in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Its the Philadelphia Flower Show and the theme is Hawaii.

The Maui Visitor’s Bureau arranged for over a dozen booths to share the Aloha to an expected 300,000 visitors over nine days at this huge event. Our Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands is there to advise our Maui participants with expert knowledge from previous shows. See the web-site for the full list of participants including the Maui Coffee Association, Hawaii Island Visitor’s Bureau, Oahu and Kauai Visitor’s Bureau.   Melanie Boudar, the Sweet Paradise Chocolatier is there and Chocolates are flying off the shelves!

Love this picture of Melanie at The Philadelphia Flower Show and hey that’s my T-shirt design lower left of photo. 😉

Imagine nine days of this exposure for Hawaii. Our proud flower growers are there from Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. I’ve seen photos of thousands of our unique Proteas and tropical flowers being shared with the world. I’m sure the show will inspire many visitors to plan their trips to the flower farms in the Hawaiian Islands.

HATA

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 HATA (Hawaii Ag-Tourism Association) meets via tele-conference Poly-com on all islands at ten AM to discuss the future of Ag-Tourism in Hawaii. Topics will include Governmental affairs/Update on Ag-Tourism Ordinance on Hawaii Island, How the legal process is going to be permitted to offer Ag-Tourism, membership, marketing, funding, finance and Education. I’ll be there at Maui Community College to contribute what I’ve learned over the past year about creating Maui Country Farm Tours and learn from the experience of Lani Weigert, Charlene Kauhane and farmers from outer islands.

See you on TV, Lani for the HATA teleconference Wednesday March 7, 2012

Up-Country Photo Farm Tour

Up-Country photo Farm Tour at Maui's WineryWe recently did a very personalized tour for guests on Maui and Lynn Erfer (senior marketing director) of the Maui Visitor’s Bureau was along for the ride. We had a blast. The cruise ship passengers were farmers from Illinois and what did they want to see? Farms on Maui. Now these were big farmers of 1200 and 3500 acres of corn and soybeans, yet they were thrilled with our Surfing Goat Dairy, Ulupalakua Ranch, Maui’s Winery, Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm and learning about the sugar cane on Maui. When Lynn asked if we could pull over on Omaopio Road for a photo opportunity, the first thing our farmer did was to scoop up some of our red dirt. He wanted to feel the soil. His wife laughed and said she was surprised he didn’t taste it. (At Surfing Goat Dairy he did chew on alfalfa)

They loved the little back road journey that Rick surprises us with and stories of his Portuguese family in Kula and Hali`i Maile, Maui.

As an added treat we stopped by the Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center to check out Maui Open Studios and had the pleasure of introducing Toby Neal author of Blood Orchids. Lynn is an art enthusiast and was so excited to stop at the Hui.

Carolyn Quan, the creator of Maui Open Studios was here too! Her art was displayed in the beautiful solarium.

Maui Ag-Festival
Next up is the Annual Maui Ag-festival coming April 7, 2012 to the Maui Tropical Plantation.
Follow Maui County Farm Bureau for the Grown on Maui Chef Series and Slow Food Maui for the Taste Education Series.
Sharing Maui's Agricultural Beauty
Ka`anapali Fresh

There’s a big event in the works for Ka`anapali that involves farmers, chefs and all the hotels in Ka`anapali, Maui. I met with executive director Shelley Kekuna of Kaanapali Resorts and event planner Toni Rojas “Sterling Performance” who are putting together a three day event for Labor Day Weekend bringing Ag-Tourism to delight everyone with an in-depth experience getting to know the land of Maui.

There will be Chef tastings at several resorts, classes, tours of farms, entertainment of course, a three day series with choices for everyone that truly celebrates the food and farms of Maui. Just minutes above the sea are many cottage farms abundant with coffee, fruits, nuts, vegetables and added-value products which are the future of Hawaii. Friday August 31, September 1 & 2

 

See you at the Farms… Call me anytime for more info and tour ideas. We’ll personalize a day for you in the country.

~ Marilyn 808 283-9131

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?