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The Coconut Chronicles
Volume 7 » page 2 ...
Coconut Community Spotlight: Kula
Kula is a community that defies your expectations of Maui. Most people know Maui for beautiful beaches, towering waterfalls or maybe even the moon-like summit of Haleakala. It is that area known as the Upcountry of Maui that lies between the ocean and the volcano's summit that surprises. Kula has always been unique in Maui for its people, plants, animals and culture. Even in prehistoric times, residents of Kula were looked at differently by coastal Mauians. Their distance from the sea and the customs of the ocean, led many to look at Kula residents as strange or even stupid. Anyone who takes the drive up Haleakala Highway to the beautiful community of Kula would be hard pressed to call the area's 7,000 or so residents foolish. Instead one might look at them with envy as they have found their own unique incredible form of paradise on Maui. Warm days and cool nights combine with spectacular views of the Central Valley and both the North and South Shores. Rolling green hills are dotted with groves of Eucalyptus, cook pines and a variety of flowering plants and trees. Kula is particularly beautiful in the spring as jacarandas bloom in brilliant purple along the sides of the road. Looking west towards the setting sun and the Pacific with Haleakala looming over your shoulder is one of the more unique and truly magical vistas in all of Maui.
Kula Food and Agriculture
The combination of rich volcanic soil, and the ideal climate associated with Kula's elevation have made this area one of Maui's true breadbaskets throughout the island's historical record. In the 1800s, Kula was used as major growing center for white potatoes and sweet onions. While some of these crops were consumed on island, much of the crop was exported to California to support the early gold rush. It did not take long for California to become self sufficient for its own agriculture, but Kula remained an important spot for produce and livestock on Maui. While Kula remains famous for its sweet onions, its produce has diversified considerably over the last 150 years. Kula has since become famous for its strawberries, greens and herbs. It does not end there. Maui's farmers markets are filled with a variety of Kula produce ranging from corn to avocados to citrus and more. Again, Kula will surprise you with a number of interesting crops that one does not associate with Maui. Tobacco is grown in small amounts for Hula Girl Cigars. Kula coffee is being grown in increasing quantity. Tedeschi Vineyards, featured in this issue, grows grapes for locally produced wine. The Jalbert family makes the trek upcountry every December to cut down our own Kula Grown Christmas tree. The trees are as fragrant and hardy as any I have owned on the mainland. Kula has become increasingly famous for its ornamental plants and flowers. Kula's beautiful proteas are exported to flower shops all over the world. Kula and specifically nearby Ulupalakua have been the focal point for ranching on island since George Vancouver first brought Cattle to Maui in the 1800s. The cooler climate and rolling hills of Kula have also made the area a prime locale for raising horses.
Maui in general is a haven for outdoor activities. Beautiful waterfalls, beaches, wind and waves draw people from all over the world. Kula and the Upcountry offer visitors and residents a chance for a number of unique outdoor experiences in varied settings.
On the mild side, there are a number of gardens featuring beautiful native and non native plants. Enchanting Floral Gardens and Kula Botanical Gardens are some of the more well known gardens offering walking tours. Kula Botanical Gardens offers 700 species of plants including extensive collections of Proteas, Bromeliads and Orchids. For those that are interested in blending their outdoor jaunts with some culinary treats, Kula has a couple of options. Ali'i Kula Lavender offers nice tours around their gardens. All of the tours include fresh scones and lavender tea. They also offer luncheon tours that include lavender cooking demonstrations and Lavender herb chicken salad. Reservations for all tours should be made at least 24 hours in advance. The Surfing Goat Dairy also offers tours of the Dairy and hosts keiki (childrens') birthday parties. Surfing Goat makes delicious goat cheese that has made its way into the recipes of many of the Maui's finest restaurants.
For something completely unique, Haleakala Ranch is also home to Skyline Adventures. This eco-tour operation provides one of the more entertaining adventures on island. They combine brief hikes with exhilarating zip line rides through the trees and over some of the beautiful gulches that run down the side of Maui's dormant volcano. For those looking for mechanized adventures, Ulupalakua Ranch and Haleakala Ranch on the outskirts of Kula both offer ATV tours along the flanks of Haleakala. These tours can provide spectacular views of Maui, the beautiful blue pacific and surrounding islands.
If you enjoy camping, Poli Poli Spring state part located up the slope of Haleakala is a good option. Poli Poli's 6,000 foot elevation is a great way to beat the heat. They have a single cabin that can be rented at $55.00 a night. There are also 20 spots for tent camping. Rates are $5 per person. Reservations can be made through the state parks at (808) 984-8109. While you are camping at this elevation, you can take a stroll through the island's redwood forest. That's right, I said redwood forest. A good portion of the Upcountry forest had been wiped out for timber and pastureland in the early twentieth century. The state and the CCC replanted much of the upcountry forest that had been removed with non native species including cedar and redwood. The slopes of Haleakala must suit the redwoods well as many of these trees planted in the 20s and 30s are now over a hundred feet tall. It is easy to see why. The clouds that drape Haleakala at this elevation give the area a climate very much like that of Northern California. I have done a great mountain biking loop incorporating the redwood trail, Waipoli road and the Haleakala Ridge Trail. That was some years ago now and I have heard access has been restricted for bikers. It would be worth checking with the county prior to embarking on your next single track adventure.
Kula Land and Homes for Sale
Kula's climate and beauty have long made it a popular location for Kama'aina. Homes for sale start in the 400s ranging all the way to multi million dollar estates. Home types are as varied as the area's terrain and climate. There are newer developments on 10,000 + square foot lots like Kulamanu. The first phase of this development is largely complete with construction of homes in the second phase starting over the last 12 months. Lots are still available in the second phase for the mid to high 300s. For those that prefer an older home, the Keokea area offers some beautiful Hawaiian Plantation Style homes from the first half of the twentieth century. These homes range from the 600s for small plantation style cottages to well into the millions for old kama'aina estates and offer wonderful ocean / sunset views.
If you love to garden, Kula is a great place for a home. All of the aforementioned reasons that make Kula a breadbasket for Maui, also makes it a great place for anything from a modest garden to a small scale agricultural operation. A significant part of the community is agriculturally zoned with 2 acre plus lots. While there are a number of properties that are still used for agricultural purposes, other 2 acre homes harvest little more than the area's beautiful views. Homes on 2 acre lots start in the mid 700s. Two acre plus vacant land parcels generally start in the 500+ range. There are some parcels in areas on the peripheries of Kula in places like Kanaio where you can get 5+ acres starting in the 400s. These areas are strictly off the grid and some require four wheel drive access. If you savor privacy and are looking to build a truly one of a kind estate, Kula also has some of the largest land offerings on the island. There is acreage between 50 acres and over 1,000 acres with price tags ranging from a little under 3 million dollars to over ten million dollars. As the Upcountry estates article would attest, there are a number of beautiful estate properties in Kula that are already complete. You can move right in and enjoy the Kula countryside. From a specialized standpoint, there are a number of small horse farms in the Kula area. If you are an equestrian, you could hardly find a better community on Maui to raise your horse.
Many families that are relocating to Maui choose Kula because of its family friendly neighborhoods and highly rated elementary school. In addition, Haleakala Waldorf School is in Kula and Seabury Hall is relatively close by in Olinda.
Regardless of whether you are purchasing a modest home or a multimillion dollar estate, Kula has much to offer. The climate, the people, the gentle slopes of Haleakala and the view combine to make Kula one of the most special communities on Maui.
Note: This article was initially published in April of 2005. Prices have changed since publication. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today for an update on the Kula Real Estate Market or you can use our site to view all of the current Kula Homes for Sale.
Thai Beef Salad. This one is good with fresh Kula Greens!
Season beef with garlic, salt and pepper. Let marinate. Grill beef on hot charbroiler to medium doneness. Let rest a few minutes and then slice thin and hold. Mix sliced beef with fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, mint leaves, shallots, red onion and lemon grass. Adjust flavor with lemon juice and hot chili powder to taste. Serve the sliced seasoned beef cold garnished with lettuce tomato, cucumber, and carrot as desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Coconut Cultural Calendar
April 17 - May 1
March 19 - May 21
Artists working in a wide range of media have been invited to create one work each using the concept of instrument
as a point of departure. The theme is open to each artists' personal interpretation and creative vision.
Wednesday, April 6
Thursday, April 7
Friday, April 8
Monday, April 11
Wednesday, April 13
Friday, April 22
Wednesday, April 27
Thursday, April 28
SUE ANN LOUDON
CLASSES AT HUI NO'EAU
KIDS CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Tiny Hands: Parent and Child
Watercolor for Teens
Teen Digital Imaging
Beginning Ceramics for Teens
Oil Painting for Teens
ADULT CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
Open Watercolor Studio
Watercolor: Tropical Fruit
Overview of Printmaking Continued
Intermediate Throwing on the Potter's Wheel
Introduction to Throwing on the Potter's Wheel
The Digital Camera
Continued in » Real Estate Market Update
Maui Real Estate Team, Inc.
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