Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday Drive

Finally some beautiful Maui weather on my day off! Like any normal Sunday morning at the cottage first order of business is checking the surf report. It looked like Lake Pacific was back so now what do we do? How about jump in the Honda and head mauka? ( towards the mountain ) Maui's "Up Country" is a cross between Northern California's Bay Area but with the greenness of Byron Bay, Australia. Probably NOT what most people expect to find in tropical Hawaii. The area consists of several small "towns" Kula, Makawao, Keokea, Ulupalakua that hug the 2,000 to 4,000 ft elevation line of our huge 10,000+ft. Haleakala. It is mild, volcanic rich, cloud fringed and peaceful. It also boast some of the best views on the island and it's only about 45 min from our house. What's so amazing is what can be grown up there. Has anyone ever heard on Maui onions? We have everything from Wine production to lavender farms to strawberry fields. It's spectacular and always a perfect get away when I'm feeling a sense of island fever or it's just plain TOO DAMN HOT AND HUMID makai ( towards the sea ).
So up Haleakala Hwy we went and the first stop was the Ace Hardware nursery in Kula. I think we ended up in the citrus section for over an hour! They had everything from Keffir lime trees to kumquats. We walked away with a Meyer Lemon and Tangelo Tree full of fragrant blossoms. I also grabbed some cilantro, chives, Anaheim Chilies, Serrano Chilies and Cayenne Peppers to add to the garden. I have great luck with peppers in my yard. My Thai Chili plant has been producing non-stop for over a year now with little care.
After the nursery we headed up the Kula Hwy a little further and stopped at my favorite Fruit/Veggie stand on the island. It sits on a hill over looking the whole island and has a beautiful garden around it including a huge strawberry patch. I bought the most beautifully perfect bunches of red leaf lettuce and Manoa Lettuce ( roots still intact ) I also grabbed 2 large zucchini, 4 Maui onions and a box of strawberries. All this for $13.25 ( FYI-that's a steal here ). I would have grabbed the cute rainbow colored tomatoes and Kale but the stand is cash only (with no ATM near by) and I was cash poor at the moment.
After the mini farmers market stand we headed back in the opposite direction towards Haiku. At this point you start heading down the mountain into more jungle like terrain....Lots of big leafed trees like Banana, Coconut, Papaya, Mango, Banyon, Ginger and Bread fruit etc. We actually dream of the idea of moving to this area someday....within the jungle lie tons of cute homes and some have spectacular ocean views. However, with Lahaina ( work, blah! ) being over an hour away from this Shangri-la it looks like we'll have to keep dreaming for awhile....oh well, I guess we'll just have to settle for the sunset side of Maui with our ocean view......OH the horror! Hahaha

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