Tag Archives: sweet paradise chocolatier

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

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.


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

I Had This Idea For A Farm Tour

I had this idea for a Scenic Farm Tour…

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

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

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

Koa Chang of Ali`i Kula Lavender

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

Amaryllis of Hawaii By Marilyn Jansen

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

Kula Country Farms

Aloha from Kula Country Farms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Promises… promises…

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

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