Tag Archives: Gardening

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.
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


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

~ Pineapple Country

photo 1

~ Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch


~ Lavender Farm for Tea or Coffee and scones2013-02-26 14.44.56

~ 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.


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.



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


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

Growing Flowers on Maui

Some of my favorite flowers to grow are cosmos, hollyhocks and zinnias. It’s amazing the different types of flowers that can be grown on Maui. Of course we have thousands of orchid varieties in Hawaii, but old fashioned favorites can thrive here too. I love my hollyhocks and they do fine Up-Country on Maui. Zinnias love it too. Kula residents will tell you how nasturtiums and cosmos thrive… And of course the amazing Proteas which are native to South Africa and Australia took to the slopes of Hakeakala between two thousand and four thousand foot elevations on the south west facing slopes. Lavender is the big surprise and wonderful addition to our island as it is sustainable and suitable to the dry land of Kula, Maui.





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?