Monday, April 7, 2014

Everything Purple!!!

There's nothing like being in Maui ... sunshine, beautiful scenery (except for the flaming red skin of the Haolies, burnt to a crisp as they ride in their convertible mustang) and the rain complete with winds and raining coconuts!!!  The weather hasn't really been bad and the winds keep it much cooler than usual!!  This is the view from my condo patio.
With Cyndae in tow, having arrived around noon from Honolulu, we headed upcountry looking for the color purple ... a lavender farm which recently received some rave reviews on a cooking program.   Even with my trusty iPhone map, we immediately got lost, but sometimes that can be a good thing.  We ran into this lovely lady who just opened her roadside stand on the side of the mountain.  I slammed on the brakes and squeezed into the one small parking space.  That's when we discovered we were lost ... she asked if we were going to the winery.  Uhmmmm NO!  We are headed to Alii Kula Lavender Farm.  After dispensing her great wisdom of the area (we're going the wrong direction) she told a few jokes, which warranted the purchase of a couple of loaves of VERY good banana bread and nut brittle.
This far up on the Haleakala volcano, the weather is wonderfully cool and the vistas spectacular.  You can actually see the water on both sides of the island valley, although not quite visible in this picture. Believe me, pictures just don't do it justice!!
A few minutes later up a very steep narrow jeep trail, and we have no jeep, we made it to the Lavender Farm.  Thirteen acres of different varieties of wonderful smelling lavender plants!!
We opted for the tour ... turned out there were only two of us ... and learned everything we could about the purple stuff, including it's uses for insect repellant, it's healing qualities as well as the ever popular relaxing benefits and how it can be used in cooking.
The varieties we saw include Spanish, English, French Grey and ornamental, each with it's distinct fragrance. Crushing the buds releases amazing smells and keeps you bug free for hours!!  It seemed to NOT be working very well on some bugs however, as their citrus trees were all very sick.  One interesting aspect of lavender is it's lack of need for water.  There is no irrigation here and all drinking water has to be pumped up from the desalination plant 3500 feet below in the valley.  That makes it WAY to expensive for plants.  The temperature changes at this altitude provide dew enough to keep everything green and beautiful.  This garden is sustained by taking cuttings from healthy plants that are replanted in as little as three months.  
The farm also grows some orchids, LOTS of proteas and some interesting varieties of things I've never heard of!!  I'd tell you but I can't remember, there were so many.  Maybe there's a lavender for memory loss!!!
This Medusa is one ... the flowers bloom on the end of 6 foot longs stalks.
The original Owner Alii passed away three years ago, but his son continues his legacy with his original way of pruning avocado trees.  That's the spider looking tree behind the arbor.  Even short people can harvest the fruit since all the branches are within reach of the ground.  
If your lavender is dying, we were told it's because it needs a haircut often and not much water!!  I overwater and never prune ... so THAT's why they died!!!
There were lots of little sparrows flying around the lunch table looking for handouts next to the big sign that said don't feed the birds!!  This one posed for some bread crumbs!!
Inside the little store were samples of every single product they sell and you can taste the edible ones as many times as you want ... including the lavender brownies!!  No, not THOSE kind of brownies ... but dark chocolate lavender infused wonderful morsels of yumminess!!  With purple frosting!!!  Since I'm trying to learn to cook better, I loaded up on the culinary lavender.  By the way, some is NOT good to eat, so don't go out to your plant and chop some off for your brownie batter.  You might be sorry!!!
My final thoughts ... that was a profitable trip up the mountain, I loved that place.  Cyndae's thoughts ... Yeah, profitable for the lavender store!!!  Nothing was cheap, but everything was well worth the expense.

Starving, we stopped at Fatburger in Pukalani for the best burger ever!!!  Tons of bacon and smothered in cheese ... MY kind of burger!!!  Dan, you would LOVE this one!!
I'll see if I can get some fish for you today ... we're off for some snorkeling down south!!  That is if the winds and waves die down a little!!


  1. Small world, my niece and her family are vacationing on Maui. If you hear "Paige" being called... that's her.

    1. I'll be listening over the howl of the wind!!!

  2. Find a way to preserve, and bring one of those burgers to the Golden Spike rally. Looks yummy!!

    1. And THAT was the smallest they had. You should have seen the XXX ... you get a T-shirt if you finish that one!!!

  3. I realize I am in the wrong Blog, but Dan I miss your post. Please fire up again.

    I don't know about the lavender, but bring me a burger too please.

    Please be careful on the road and fishing today.


    1. I miss Dan's blog too Rex!!! Maybe this summer he will start it up again!!