When most people think of Hawaii, warm weather, sandy beaches, bright blue water and sunshine come to mind. Actually, Hawaii possesses almost all climates in the world in just one place. On Maui, the temperature fluctuates depending on the trade winds as well as what side of the island you are on. The south shore tends to be sunnier and hotter, while the north shore tends to be cooler and windier. Kula, located on the slopes of Haleakala – a dormant volcano at the center of the island, which accounts for about 75% of the entire island – is the epicenter, so to speak, of agriculture and produce. Kula is home to multiple farms because of its rich volcanic soil and higher elevation. One particular farm located here is Kula Country Farms.
Kula Country Farms have been family owned and operated for 4 generations. Like many other farms on Maui, they practice the best farming techniques that promote and balance the environment. They rotate their crops to encourage the growth of beneficial insects and animals, use organic grade and low-toxicity pesticides only when necessary, and are “Food Safety” certified. Their produce is available for sale along with produce from other local farms at their farm stand. Here you will also find local jams, jellies, condiments, baked goods, and flowers. Their produce is also available for purchase at Costco, Safeway, Times, Whole Foods and other local grocery stores.
The farm itself is open 6 days a week and is a great way to spend most of the day with the family. They are closed on Mondays, open 10:00am-5:00pm, Tuesday-Friday and 10:00am-4:00PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Entry to the farm itself is free but there are lots of activities once you arrive and the activities change throughout the year based on seasons and holidays or other events happening on island. Check their website for current information.
Looking for a Maui pumpkin patch to visit in the fall? Every year there is a Fall Pumpkin Patch where families can come and explore the corn maze at a very low price of $3.00 per guest with children under 3 being free. There are beautiful chickens that roam freely around the property and also a section where guests can pet the farm’s rabbits, ponies, and goats. In the distance is a breathtaking view of West Maui which overlooks Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina. From this elevation guests can see the ocean, Waikapu Valley, and much of central Maui. Situated just underneath the clouds on a clear day, the sights alone are worth the trip. During this time of year, the farm is covered from end-to-end with fall themed decorations. Haystacks, dried colorful corn, sunflowers with bright yellow and red hues, fall colored leaves and flowers galore!
What’s so special about this Maui pumpkin patch is all of the pumpkins are grown on property. With multiple varieties, shapes and colors, guests can roam through the pumpkin patch and pick out their very own to take home. There is also a lot of great opportunity for family photos here as there are multiple “standee” or “head-in-hole” cut outs for pictures and of course the pumpkin patch itself is worth a few pictures. It would be hard to pass up the beautiful photo opportunity and bring home your own Maui pumpkin patch photos with such an amazing view of the ocean and island in the background.
Kula Country Farms is also famous for the strawberries they grow. They source locally to multiple businesses and restaurants and even offer a yearly strawberry picking event that begins around February every year. Here, guests can come and pick their own strawberries to bring home and also participate in seven hole golf located next to the banana trees. There are also tons of other garden games such as bocce ball and plenty of photo opportunities as well as the cardboard cut outs that change to strawberry shortcake related themes. Along with the spring time also brings a yearly Easter Egg hunt and flower picking.
Next time you’re in Maui, if spending another day at the beach seems out of the question, make your way up to Kula. Visit Kula Country Farms and find yourself on a totally different part of the island with some breathtaking views and good old family fun.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Rose started culinary school and cooking in professional kitchens at age 23. Upon finishing school and an inspiring trip to San Francisco, she decided to pack her things and move to the city that would ultimately be the start of an incredible cooking and lifelong journey.
For the next 5 years, she trained in some of the most celebrated kitchens in the Bay Area including:
– Benu (stagiaire) by Corey Lee, San Francisco
– Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller, Yountville, CA
– Boulevard by Nancy Oakes, San Francisco
– Mourad by Mourad Lahlou, San Francisco
In May of 2016 she became the Executive Sous Chef for The Mill House located at Maui Tropical Plantation on Maui, Hawaii. In these kitchens she developed a background in savory, pastry, baking and bread production.
An advocate of the slow food movement with a love for strong, bold flavors, fresh produce and rustic cuisine, she believes that food should be comforting and memorable, shared and soulful.
Currently, Rose works as a private chef in the Bay Area with a focus on plant based cooking.