Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

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Our parents were out over the last ten days enjoying the island and some quality time with their kids and grandkids. Looking for something different to do, Billy and I decided to take them to Ali’i Chang’s spectacular Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm nestled on the slopes of Haleakala in beautiful upper Kula. The farm is a great example of some of Maui’s growing agribusiness and a prime example of one of the destinations featured in the board of tourism’s new Malama Maui campaign. The farm offers self guided tours, tea tours and lunch tours as well as specialty tours. Billy and I took our parents to the lunch tour.

We made our way up Haleakala escaping the summer sun in the Central Valley. With the sun obscured behind a layer of clouds draped along the sides of Haleakala, the air was refreshing enough for us to wear a light jacket. Arriving at the farm, we were all immediately struck by the beauty of the grounds, the forest land high on Haleakala and the spectacular bi-coastal views. Ali’i himself was near the gate tending to matters on the farm. He took a minute to greet us and his warm smile and friendly demeanor made us feel at home. We were then escorted by a member of his staff to a table where we were served lavender enfused tea and scones baked with lavender buds.

After a casual tea, we were escorted over to the lavender product area. One of the staff described a variety of the products manufactured through the farm. Lavender based creams and sprays were passed around for all to smell and sample. Culinary products were described with someone from the audience chiming in with a testimonial on the quality of a particular product.

The walking tour was definitely a highlight. Our guide has a degree in horticulture and was a fountain of knowledge. She led us to different parcels of lavender snipping small bundles for each of us to pass around. We pinched the flowers to bring out the aromas and oils. Soft and subtle varieties were used for cooking while plants with stronger oils were used for scents. The farm used to grow Proteas so beautiful Protea trees were interspersed among the lavender. Ali’i has only been growing lavender on the parcel for 5 years, but the plants were already thriving in the cool dry climate of upper Kula. The walking tour really was a sensory feast with the smell of the lavender, the feel of the different varieties of plants, and the beauty of the grounds not to mention the spectacular views of the Central Valley, Pacific and neighbor islands.

Once the tour was complete, we headed back to the outdoor dining area for the demonstration on cooking with lavender. The skilled chef whipped up a quick and tasty lavender seasoned salmon on a bed of fresh Kula greens. We were all given a sample of this excellent dish before our main dish was brought out. The lavender chicken on a bed of fresh greens was also delicious. Refreshing lavender lemonade was served to help wash it all down.

Our day was capped off with a visit to the farm’s store. My parents stocked up on lavender cooking supplies and creams. We thanked our guide and headed back to the car. My parents had big smiles on their faces . I couldn’t imagine a much more enjoyable way to spend my parent’s last day on Maui.

For more information on Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm’s products, tours and hours of operation call directly at 808-878-8090 or visit their webpage.

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