Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 16 Maui- Farm Day

In spite of a long day on Haleakala yesterday breakfast came early. A good one! Yogurt with guava, fresh coconut, apple banana and pineapple. This is Hawaii in a bowl. If you like food, it's an excellent idea to grab a copy of the magazine Edible Hawaii. They're friendly people and have lots of interesting info to share about the islands, both in print and social media. They're responsible for #ehifarmday (edible hawaii farm day) which happened 5/24.

Before we hit up Kumu Farms (we also visited them on Molokai) and the Vodka(!) Farm we plan to visit to local Saturday Swap Meet. There are lots of stalls selling similar souvenirs that we've seen all over the islands, plus some with more originality. We also got our fresh coconut! Quite a few produce stands here with decent prices, so that qualifies for #ehifarmday too. Kumu Farms Maui is located at the Old Plantation and train stop. It's a lovely farmer's market stand, and the produce was fresh with a decent variety. The plantation house has shopping (local goodies, drinks, coffee, clothing)  and you can book the Sugar Cane train ride here.

But no time for trains, we're going on the Ocean Vodka tour. First question! How the heck do you make vodka from sugar? Isn't that rum? The answer? It's all in the proof. Our tour guide Kai (a Kaua'i native moved to Maui) gave us all the info on this family-run liquor factory. Everyone participates in all parts of the business including the harvesting, bottling and shipping; it's hands on and local. The company blends their high proof sugar cane alcohol with Mahalo water from the deep depths of the Big Island. The final product is delightfully sweet when mixed with just a bit of the water. (News flash: Ocean vodka will offer Rum in the coming year-using the varietals of sugar cane they have planted on the side acreage.) Just keep an eye on their announcements. The tour was educational, quick and fun including a taste of the Mahalo water (which sells for 6 and 8 dollars a bottle in Japan), the Ocean Vodka itself and finally a sweet blend of the two, vodka mixed with the Mahalo water which was the clincher of the tasting. After admiring the views we wandered back into the gift shop to collect our complimentary shot glass and perused the Surfing Goat Dairy truffles for sale. We got two straight from the cold glass case and chowed down. In retrospect we should have given them the chance to get to room temperature in order to allow the fruity flavors to come out a bit more. They're made with good chocolate, though.

We drove off to get some exercise snorkeling, ready to check out a spot one of the guides from our Molokini tour told us about...but it was a cloudy bust. Tide had the sand all riled up so we couldn't see a thing. Time to sooth ourselves with Ululani's Shave Ice. We're afraid to try anyone else! Lucky there are two shops in Lahaina. Today we got the "micro" size (a size down from the small). In addition to our three flavors we also got the coconut ice cream in the bottom. So much goodness! Now off to D.T. Fleming Beach, where we had our best luck with the turtles and shark the other day. In the end we were pretty low energy so we just swam about a bit since this beach has such nice sand. Only two more nights left here on vacation and we're feeling ready to go home and lay our head on familiar pillows. We love Hawaii, but it isn't home (yet!).

Breakfast- yogurt/apple banana/pineapple/fresh coconut/guava, slice of local banana bread
Saturday Morning Swap Meet
What a cutie hermit crab!
Nice wall hangings. We also saw some pictures of this same style in Lahaina
Looking to start a business on Maui? Just make sure it's local!!!
A mountain of fresh coconuts.
Every condo should come with a machete for opening coconuts --see on table right side
A warm day, we caught some shade at picnic tables and sipped our coconuts, people watching
Aloha, Kumu Farms Maui!
Penny Squishing machine in the Plantation House, the only one we saw this trip!
Aloha Ocean Vodka!
Outside for the tour, looking into the varietal sugars that will be used for making Rum blends
Inside the distillery, construction is going on and the Giant pot still is waiting to be set up.
Vodka nearly ready to be shrink wrapped and shipped out
You'll have to go to Japan to find this 'healthful' water. Straight from the deep ocean to your lips.
The bottling room! Gorgeous flooring here and a very clean, mobile set up.
Like the scenery? You can book a private tour or a day of fun—like this bridal party
Another #ehifarmday adventure, we didn't make it to see the goats, but we tasted the product
We miss our girls, but the boys behind the Lahaina counter did just fine with our shave ice today
Left-Mango, coconut, pina colada Right-strawberry/cherry/tigers blood with a snow cap(sweet condensed milk) on top