A Tour of Ali’i Kula Lavender
A tour of the Lavender Farm in Kula, Maui is an agricultural adventure. In summer, as you approach the entrance, you begin to see thousands of grey mounds with purple stems bursting to the sky.
Upon close observation you’ll see over 45 varieties of English, Spanish and French Lavender. Sweet English lavender has the long beautiful stems. French Lavender can be identified by the serrated leaf or French Braid like leaves. Spanish lavender has a peppery scent and buds shaped like pineapples or two bunny ears…
The French varieties are most often used in culinary preparations. Lavender comes from the French word “lavage” and was used by royalty in ancient times to bathe. Hence, the lavender gives a sweet smelling scent to the bath and has many wonderful properties for the skin. It is a natural bug repellant, an antiseptic, can heal cuts and wounds but most popularly it has a direct effect on the central nervous system that causes relaxation… Isn’t that wonderful?
Just walking in fields of lavender is a beautiful scene. The color purple is also known to have a soothing effect on the brain.
Squeeze the flower to release the essence of lavender’s essential oils. The blooms are sturdy and can take a good squeeze…
Enjoy a blend of lavender mint tea and you’ll be in the Maui state of mind overlooking bicoastal views of the valley isle.
Another amazing fact about the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is that it was originally a protea farm where it’s founder Ali’i Chang had come to retire. He was gifted with a lavender plant and later learned about the amazing properties and health benefits of lavender. Together with his friend Lani Weigert they built the brand “Sustainable Aloha” and created a multitude of products from lavender partnering with many locals within a ten mile radius. The skin care products are created in a certified lab on the mainland. Chocolates come from the Big Island, scones are baked just down the road, by Jeannie the Bread Lady. The French lavender flowers, stems and leaves are ground and combined with flour creating a subtle, wonderful savory scone. Their lilikoi (Passionfruit) jelly has a hint of lavender and one of my favorites products is the lavender spice mix which is terrific on lamb, beef, pork or fish. It’s fun to sample every skin care product in the lavender boutique, then shop for your favorites. You can shop online and be sure to sign up for e-mail news of sale items at aklmaui.com
Did you know that proteas originated in South Africa and some are from Australia? They are very particular about location too. They need to be planted on a South West facing slope between 2,000 to 4,000 ft. Elevation. They took to the slopes of Haleakala beautifully. My favorite protea is the King Protea bud pictured here. This bud will take five months to open. It is so dense and tight. It opens to become the bloom you see above with white furry undersides and pink petals. Once cut, these flowers last up to three weeks in a vase. Change the water often to keep it fresh.
Today the lavender bouquets were 50% off (that’s $10.00) to fill your room with lavender.
If you’d like a guided tour of the Lavender Farm, Kula Country Farms, Ulupalakua Ranch please call us and we’ll personalize it for you. ~ Marilyn
Marilyn Jansen Lopes
@jamarilyn on Twitter