Maui Country Farm Tours Goes Back To The Country
With excitement and eagerness to share the beauty, we headed to Whole Foods Kahului, Maui to pick up our sandwiches, muffins, cookies and our passengers. It was a perfect day. I got to Whole Foods at 8:30 and there I met Amber-Lynn Hyden and Shere’e Young having their breakfast. “Some energy food” said Amber. We gave hugs and I proceeded to pick up our order. Ricky pulled the bus up curbside to pick up everyone. Erik Blair and his daughter Isabella, Mary Mahoney a newcomer to Maui from Boston, Massachusetts, Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands, and Charlene Kauhane “Kauhane Inc” completed the group. On the bus I presented Amber-Lynn and Shere’e with pink plumeria lei that I’d strung the night before and chilled. It was Amber’s birthday. (Tomorrow really, but she was on Maui to celebrate. Amber is our KITV4 Weathergirl and we had met on Twitter. We planned the trip about a month ago. I was very excited to show her Maui Country Farm Tours.
So with our Shuttle van full of passengers, food, drinks and tropical fruit we headed to Ho`okipa Beach Park as planned. There, we stopped at the lookout and took photos and I set up the tripod for time release group shots at each location. That was so much fun. Ricky gave bits of Maui history and points of interest such as the old Catholic Cemetary in Kuau where many of his Portuguese ancestors rest in peace since the late 1800’s. Everybody enjoyed this. Dania had never seen that in the many times she’d passed through Paia in twenty years here on Maui. He even asked a quiz question about the first name of Spreckles and no one knew that he was Claus Spreckles, the Sugar King.
After our scenic Ho`okipa we headed up-country through upper Paia via Balwin Ave, passing the old sugar mill that is now shut down, mostly disassembled and shipped to the Phillipines. This way we could show our guests where Maui Pineapple used to be grown and where the Hali`i Maile Maui Gold Pineapple is now grown on a smaller scale. We took them through Hali`i Maile mentioning the old General Store, the infirmary for the camp where Ricky grew up and about the meat market that was actually where the bar is now in the restaurant Hali`i Maile General Store. From there we cruised through the cane on up the Haleakala Highway to scenic Ulupalakua. It was beautiful to look below to all of West Maui, Kahoolawe, Molokini and Lanai and the blue, blue sea.
At Ulupalakua we had a wonderful opportunity to introduce Jimmy Gomes the operating manager of Ulupalakua Ranch. They had just moved a herd of cattle that morning. (I had called Jimmy just days before and he was happy to meet with us). That was neat. At Maui’s Winery we had a short visit in the King’s Cottage for a little shopping. Amber had ordered an Elk burger at the Ulupalakua Store after Jimmy mentioned it was sold there as well as Maui Cattle Company Beef. She shared with others but I didn’t try.
I was concerned about keeping things moving along smoothly and we were meeting Pomai and Kenoe of AKL Lavender Farm for lunch at Rice Park. Everyone moseyed on over to the winery. I love it there and wanted to stay longer sharing the history of the ranch under the one hundred and fifty year old trees but next time we’ll linger a little longer.
We were getting hungry so it was perfect to get to beautiful Rice Park for our first Maui Country Farm Tours picnic. Everyone L-O-V-E-D the great sandwiches created by Whole Foods. The Turkey-Avocado-Bacon-spinach and jack cheese on Ciabatta with aiole is awesome. We served fresh starfruit, Lilikoi, apple bananas and had Maui Gold pineapple ready to cut from @KulaFields. Pomai Weigert of the Lavender Farm together with Charlene Kauhane, Dania Katz, Amber-Lynn Hyden and Shere’e sat casually on the grass while some of the guests chose the picnic table. It was a beautiful scene overlooking all of West Maui. The sandwiches were so good even though they were huge we had to finish them. So tasty!
I purchased these beautiful pastries at Whole Foods so we could have a special treat for Amber’s Birthday. Everyone was so full from the sandwiches that we didn’t touch the pastries. I saved them for later… YUM
We proceeded to the magnificent AKL Lavender Farm for a personalized tour by Pomai. Then we shopped, drank Lavender Tea and took pictures! It was great to have Pomai tell us the story of the Lavender Farm and about how Ali`i Chang had started everything from one plant that Ali`i had received as a gift. He began to make plants from cuttings and the nine acre lavender farm was born. Her mom, Lani Weigert is the lady with the marketing genius and twenty years experience building relationships in the visitor industry. They base their success on the spirit of Aloha. By partnering with a multitude of other businesses on Maui they have been able to create an empire from a beautiful Lavender farm.
Normally, this would be the end of the tour but this was a deluxe Up-Country Photo Farm Tour which includes Surfing Goat Dairy! Whew, so on we drove down the cool slopes with the scent of Lavender in the bus.
By squeezing our lavender flowers we released the relaxing essence of lavender and headed to lower elevations where the pastureland of Surfing Goat Dairy is home to hundreds of goats. We had the special tour which was so important to learn the history of the farm, it’s owners, feed the goats, learn about goat husbandry, the milking, pasteurization and aging process. We sampled a platter of ten cheeses. This was awesome. All in all it was a fabulous day.
On the bus passengers received a set of Amaryllis of Hawaii books to take home. I know they’ll remember the journey for quite some time. (((smiles))) I know I’ll never forget my first Maui Country Farm Tour.
It was nice to be a passenger with seven other guests that had the opportunity to get to know one another. Small enough to be personal and fun. Our driver (Ricky) was fabulous.
Thanks everyone for joining us on Maui Country Farm Tours.
Do call us us to book your tour at 808 283-9131
We’re happy to customize a group tour for you.