If a person could take only one regional ag-tour on Maui, the
Kula/Ulupalakua tour would be the one to choose. The fame of
the Kula area
in the Twentieth Century was focused on the sweet Maui onion,
but vegetables of all kinds and many flowers grow well and abundantly
here. It is also an area blessed with beautiful scenery and
breathtaking views of the coasts below.
Watch for signs. There are plenty of the Hawaiian Warrior signs
indicate sites of historic interest and many signs inviting
you to visit or shop on ag land. If you want to picnic, there
are many places to choose, but the Sun Yat Sen Park, just beyond
Kula is often deserted despite incredible views. What¹s
more, Grandma¹s Coffee House where you can buy sandwiches,
beverages and, of course, locally grown coffee, is very nearby.
Protea, onions, cabbage and other crops abound along the roads
and are often offered for sale at roadside stands. Some farms
without stands are happy to have visitors, others are not. Show
the residents the courtesy of not
entering private land invited in by a person or sign.
Cattle and other livestock may be seen grazing near the road
anywhere in the
area, especially after you pass Kula going toward Ulupalakua
which is, first
and foremost, a beef ranching operation. Axis deer are also
common here, but they are wild animals. If you should see an
elk, however, it is part of the
Ulupalakua herd. Having struggled, off and on, for about 175
years with the
problems of getting beef cattle to finishing pens and slaughter
the mainland, Maui cattlemen recently formed their own association
uses local produce the local market.
At Ulupalakua Ranch, the ranch store will sometimes have elk
meat for sale.
Watch for the Made in Maui seal on products here
otherwise corner of the working ranch. A short walk from the
ranch store (and deli) you can visit the tasting room of Tedeschi
Winery, the only winery on Maui.
Again, if you¹re in a picnic mood, the great lawn at the
winery offers a
very peaceful and beautiful site for a meal. Fresh food, including
sandwiches, are at the store, and obviously there are lots of
wines right there in the tasting room.
The old West Maui Agricultural Fair died out many years ago.
The Maui County Fair has less and less to do with agriculture.
But the slack, so to say, has been taken up by what is usually
called The Ulupalakua ³Thing.² Each year, at the end
of April, farmers, wild-food harvesters and other producers
gather along with a thousands of fans and friends for The Maui
Trade Show and SamplingS the ThingS on the Tedeschi lawn.
Ulupalakua Ranch also hosts Maui ATV Tours year-round and, privately,
supports numerous occasional events for hunting clubs and other
groups. Land here is leased to an ever-changing array of small-scale
and experimental agricultural projects as well. Lavender and
strawberries have been grown here, and many table crops come
and go as the ranch constantly reworks its vision of diversified