Maui the Best

Maui no ka oi means Maui the best as we say on our island and here’s why we say that.image

Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian Islands and one of the most rural, beautiful places in the world. Voted the number one wedding destination on the planet, Maui is a dream come true for visitors to the islands. When planning your vacation or dream wedding and honeymoon on Maui you’ll want to explore all the beautiful farms Up Country and the road to Hana.Road to Hana

On our Half way to Hana tour you can experience lush vegetation, tropical fruit stands, ponds and waterfalls, rainbow eucalyptus, bamboo forests and gorgeous black lava formations with waves crashing all around the Ke’anae peninsula.

Ke'anae

 

Swim in a beautiful pond towards a waterfall then finish with fresh banana bread right out of the oven at Aunty Sandy’s and Roselani Ice Cream at the Half Way to Hana Store before heading back to civilization. Our most popular half day tour is the Up Country Farm Tour. You’ll love it at Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm where we have lavender coffee or tea and scones then wander into the beautiful gardens filled with lavender, proteas, orchards, vegetable gardens, native Ohia Lehua trees and views that are to die for.

Giant King Proteas

Lunch is an awesome experience on the one hundred and fifty year old Ulupalakua Ranch for Maui Cattle Burgers or delicious veggie taro burgers and wine tasting in the King’s Cottage. It’s so beautiful among the old trees. On private tours we take you behind the mountain to see magnificent lava flows formed hundreds of years ago.Lava flows

Maui has over eight hundred small farmers and one hundred members of the Maui Coffee Association. There are coffee farms all over the mountain, Haleakala and Kaanapali Coffee Farm grows on 350 acres on the West side of the island. We have the privilege of visiting Kula Beans Coffee Farm Up Country. Tama Brandeburg grows one hundred and fifty red Catuai and typicas to create her delicious award winning blend.Kula Coffer Cherries image image image

Book a tour right here in the sidebar on our website or call 808 283-9131 and speak to Marilyn

Newlyweds

 

 

Summertime Maui Tours

image

 Aloha everyone coming to Maui and all you folks living on the island of Maui. Summer is here and it’s time to have summer fun in the islands. We love taking visitors and Kamaʻaina (locals) on adventures and Maui tours in the country to the Lavender Farm, Coffee Farms, Ocean Vodka and MauiWine. We also love to share bamboo forests, waterfalls, halfway to Hana, Hoʻokipa, Huelo, native plants and coconuts. Gardening is a passion. Farmers markets and local growers are what we love to share at Maui Country Farm Tours. We love to visit Lahaina Animal Farm, Maui Dragonfruit Farm and SimpliFresh Farm too. It’s a great West Maui adventure tour that can finish by circling the West Maui Mountains, the Blow Hole, beaches, cliffs, waterfalls, surfers, galleries at Kahakaloa, very old churches and Iao Valley.  So join us with your family and friends on a personalized educational adventure on the mountain Haleakala. Book a tour right here on the page or call to book and ask questions at 808 283-9131. We’ve been told we had the best Maui tour by guests in their twenty years of traveling. What an honor to share Maui with the world.

See tours at the tab above or the calendar or click here!

 

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

#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.

20120810-220237.jpg2013-02-26 14.44.40

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

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.

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.

2013-02-26 14.44.402013-02-26 14.44.56

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.

2013-02-26 14.44.39750_oceanvodka

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.

Maui Ag Fest

Sharing Maui's Agricultural BeautyKaanapali-Coffee-Farms our van

The Maui Ag Festival was bigger than ever. The crowd was amazing. The enthusiasm for farmers, food, flowers, coffee and all things agriculture was celebrated with music, Hula, Taste Education demonstrations with chefs paired with farmers and some of the most amazing talented people of Maui. The atmosphere was exciting, uplifting and energizing. We got to see friends and be surrounded by the things we love about Maui. There was so much going on from Spirits to chocolate, Ulu, (breadfruit), Taro, exotic fruits and vegetables, macadamia nuts, coffee, sugar, pineapple, citrus and avocados, persimmons, lavender and a flower arranging contest. The barbecue smoke permeated the air. Soccer groups served BBQ plates, others served pork sliders, Maui Cattle, ribs and others debuted Shaka Pops made from fresh fruits of our island. I barely got to see it all as I was working in the Education Tent with Pomai Weigert. We partnered together to share the Hawaii Ag-Tourism Association with everyone. As an incentive we offered a chance to win a free tour for two and over one hundred people signed up! The enthusiasm was so great I’m still smiling. I saw my friend Ken Love President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Grower’s Association only for a moment at 7:30 AM.

IMG_6238

Here I am meeting my Twitter friend, Macrobiotic Chef  @Macrohawaii  Leslie Ashburn.

IMG_6256

My Friend and local hero, Susy Stille of Piliani Kope Farm. She and her husband Greg Stille (President of the Hawaii Coffee Association) were just voted one of our local heros for all the wonderful ways they give back to the community in the state of Hawaii.

IMG_6231

The most abundant unique vegetables grow on Maui. This citrus is called Buddhas hand. The unusual cauliflower is grown by Coca farms in Kula, Maui. I get to visit many farms but have barely touched the surface when it comes to the eight hundred farms on Maui. If only everyone was ready for Ag-Tourism. For now we got to see many of the farmers come out in explosion at the Maui Ag Festival an annual event we would like to become a daily event. Imagine growing enough food on Maui that we could survive here without imported food. Well at least we could decrease dependence.

 

IMG_6301

Here’s the small edible garden at the Lavender Farm in Kula. Situated among old proteas from South Africa and Australia, French, English and Spanish lavenders, the new edible gardens are a bounty of lettuce, bok choy, beans, peas, onions, chards, spinach, edible flowers and the orchard are full of stone fruits including plums, pears, apples, mulberries, citrus and avocado. There’s even a cinnamon tree. I can just imagine in five years how beautiful the orchard will be.

IMG_6272

I never tire of the giant king proteas that took to the slopes of Haleakala back in the nineteen seventies. The lavender is gorgeous surrounded by prehistoric flowers that have been on earth since dinosaurs.

 

IMG_6268

We love to take our guests to Ho`opkipa en route to the country farms. It gives us a sense of where we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Now we  stop at Lumeria Maui on our way up Baldwin Avenue through the old Pineapple Country changing before our eyes. It’s a four star resort in the country popular for meditation retreats, yoga, massage, organic food and classes in horticulture and aromatherapy. The landscaping with palms and native plants is breathtakingly healthy and a beautiful place to feel the trades blowing through the palms.

IMG_6293

We want to encourage native plantings of original Hawaiian Plants every day in Hawaii to help restore the natural beauty of the islands . The islands were so different in ancient times. Let us take the time to learn and preserve what is left. Part of the agricultural beauty is the preservation of the natural beauty that is Hawaii.

IMG_6288

Pin Cushion flowers are plentiful on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui. There are over twenty five varieties.

IMG_6283

The Jade flower vines are so beautiful at Maui’s Winery.

IMG_6220

These awesome farmers are Manu Akana and David Horsman of Ho`opono Farms

photo(2)

Food from Ho`opono Farms West Maui Farm

IMG_6224

Jimmy Gomes is Ranch Manager for Ulupalakua Ranch. Aloha Jimmy!

IMG_6230

Coca Farms

IMG_6226

These ladies are doing a wonderful thing with the “Waste Not, Want Not” Foundation. When fruit is needing to be harvested before it goes to waste, people call them sometimes on short notice to come and harvest. The food is donated to senior homes and after school programs. The Foundation is supported by donations.

IMG_6286

Kula Country Farms Strawberries grow year round. The picking season for the public is February through May. They waited until after the Easter Egg hunt so everything would be perfectly beautiful for the children. The Pumpkins will be planted in the upper fields this summer for harvest in September and October. On the lower one hundred eighty acres more strawberries grow, and onions, cabbage, string beans, squash, kale, zucchinis, carrots, beets, and other root vegetables.

 

IMG_6327

These are from my own garden where I grow lettuces, beets, string beans, carrots, peas, onions, chives, hollyhocks, basils, thyme, rosemary, sage, lilikoi, papaya, apple bananas, coffee trees and eagerly plan to dig in the soil and plant more.

IMG_6222hana fresh tomato

These are my old friends from Hana Fresh where I used to work as a registered nurse at the Hana Community Health center, now Hana Health. They’re growing on ten acres  and have a farmers market tent seven days a week in front of the clinic in Hana.

IMG_6250

My friend Pomai Weigert and one of my partners in promoting agricultural tourism. We are connecting farmers and visitors in the community to enhance the visitor experience. People are wanting an enriched experience that takes them closer to the land. Our goal is to innovate, educate and perpetuate enthusiasm for agriculture. It takes a vision written on your heart to achieve a dream such as a farm, an added value product, a new way of making a living. We see the future of Hawaii as a series of cottage crops on all islands thriving and growing food for all. Many farmers want to do Ag tourism but don’t know where to begin. Hawaii Ag Tourism Association is here to walk you through the hoops. There are many steps to make your farm ready and you can begin by utilizing the check list available at the HATA website. “Are you ready for Ag-Tourism?” First become a member by joining HATA. Together each achieves more. We will work together. Lani Weigert, the co-founder of Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm is the executive director,  and together we can use that model to create many more successful farms.

IMG_6264

The Maui Ag Festival was a “farmers market on steroids” as Melissa Chang said it in her blog at Non Stop Honolulu. Maui is really off the charts full of talent, and amazing farmers, chefs and gardeners. The creativity is inspiring for everyone to see. So come join us any day of the week on Maui. We’ll visit farmers, farmers markets, chefs and foodies, artists and agricultural beauty.

We love sharing Maui’s agricultural beauty!

Call me to schedule a personalized tour. 808 283-9131

~ Marilyn

 

All Your Dreams Coming True

Imagine all your dreams are coming true…
Photo_1

Visiting Maui Coffee farms

Photo_3

Magnificent surfing beaches

Photo_4

Lavender and Protea Farms

Photo_5

Watching edible gardens come to life on Maui and taking home memories for life…

We’re sharing Maui’s Agricultural Beauty and it IS a dream come true…

Join us 🙂 808 283-9131
808 280-1621

Marilyn Jansen Lopes
http://Mauicountryfarmtours.com

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

Gardening For Life

As a self-taught gardener I learned by experience that any soil can be improved. The secret is to amend… amend… amend…

Photo_1

I learned that early from reading Organic Gardening magazines in 1978. I also learned that it was possible to garden without poisons or fertilizers.

Photo_2

When someone tells me they have clay soil, sandy soil or rocky soil, I can tell you that I’ve seen it all. I’m not a Master Gardener but I know how to plant and to be a good gardener you must start with the soil. No matter what type of dirt I’ve encountered, by adding compost, mixing potting soils or top soils to the existing soil helped me achieve a rich loamy medium in which to plant.

Photo_3

My compost piles have always been created by digging a hole one foot deep and three feet wide. Into this goes vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, fruit peels, egg shells layered with leaves and grass cuttings to aerate the pile. I moisten it from time to time and turn it with a hoe or shovel in order to cover the scraps and keep it from getting compacted too tightly. When I see earthworms I know I’ve got a good thing going and within weeks it’s becoming a healthy rich mixture to add to my garden. Nothing animal goes into my compost.

Photo_4

When planting bulbs like dahlias here on Maui, irises, tulips, ixias, freesias, tulips and crocus (in the mainland) I dig to the depth instructed on the package and learned at Sassafras Nursery in Topanga, California, to add bone meal and blood meal in the hole mixed with a little dirt to promote root growth and give a boost of nutrition.

Photo_5

I love to keep a garden diary and tape seed packets onto the pages. This helps you remember what you’ve planted and what you fall in love with for future use. I hope this helps some of you. The way to plant a garden is to design your layout whether it be square, round, curvy or straight. Set the borders then weed it out, dig a foot deep to loosen the soil, add compost, bags of rich potting soil or truckload of compost from a place you trust. Always create your own compost too.
Design your rows. Imagine lettuces, kale, Chinese greens, onions, basil, cosmos, Hawaiian chili peppers.
I start my tomato seeds in flats.
I like getting them established before transplanting into the ground. I suggest planting things that grow fast like string beans. Plant them near a fence or make a tee pee for them to climb. Bush beans are an amazing variety that produce tons of beans at only a foot tall. I love snow peas, snap peas and carrots are wonderful to pick.

 

I suggest a raised bed type garden for root veggies because you are almost guaranteed to have nice loose soil for your beets, carrots, turnips, radishes and daikon.

 

Read lots of magazines like Martha Stewart, Garden Design, Victoria, Elle Decor, Country Living, FarmGirl Magazine for inspiration and visit the farms in your area like we do on Maui. The Lavender Farm, Kula Country Farms, protea farms, tropical flower farms, orchid farms, coffee farms are all an inspiration. We learn from each other and it becomes a passion for gardening and a lifetime of joy…

 

Call me or email me anytime if you have a question about gardening.
If i don’t know the answer I’ll get it for you from one of my amazing friends…

 

~ Marilyn

 

Come take a farm tour with us and we’ll share the most amazing beauty…

 

808 283-9131
808 280-1621

 

Marilyn Jansen Lopes
http://Mauicountryfarmtours.com