See HGP at our booth at the MALP 17th Annual Lawn and Garden Fair

CLICK HERE for complete MALP 2012 Land Garden Fair information

Please Contact Susi Mastroianni if you would like to place a business card ad. Cost is $175.00 and will appear in the Maui News the Sunday before the Lawn and Garden Fair. Contact her at email address with your business card email: gardencreationsmaui@mac.com. CLICK HERE for a sample on how the ad is done–from the Maui Contractors Association ad.

CLICK HERE for a MALP Artscapes Application

3 Farm Tours for Food Lovers in Maui

Mention Maui and visions of sandy beaches, surfers, palm trees, and umbrella drinks come to mind. Maui certainly has all those things, but dive past the postcard perfect shoreline, and you’ll find that Maui’s unique microclimates and wealth of fertile volcanic soil also make it prime farming land. Here are three spots to get an authentic taste of homegrown aloha.

Maui Gold Pineapple Farm

It’s almost impossible to think of Hawaii without thinking of pineapples. Tropical, sweet, and juicy, pineapples taste of smiles and sunshine. Go right to the source with Maui Pineapple Tours. If you’ve ever wanted to frolic through golden pineapple fields (not recommended—pineapples are spiky), this is the place to do it since it is the only working pineapple farm in the U.S. you can tour. You’ll visit the Hali’imaile Pineapple Plantation, home to the trademark Maui Gold pineapple, a variety prized for its sweet flavor and low acidity. Check out the packing and shipping factory, head out to the farm, and eat as much pineapple as you’d like, straight from the fields.

You will leave with sticky fingers, a Maui Gold for the road, and more knowledge about pineapples than you’ll know what to do with (like how to select a good pineapple at home, the best way to cut and core it, even how to grow your own pineapple plant from the crown of the one you just ate).

A royally wild ride

FIRST PHOTO: Makawao Rodeo 2012 Queen Lauren Egger (on barrel) and Princess Jessica Hartley get the royal treatment from Hartley’s horse Sonny while competing in a Rescue Race at the Upcountry Farm and Ag Fair on Saturday afternoon at Oskie Rice Arena in Olinda. In the race, competitors must saddle their horse and race to rescue their partner stranded atop a barrel.

SECOND PHOTO: This duo toppled the barrel, however, and Sonny bolted into the air, landed with stiff legs and knocked the girls out of the race. The event also featured the Maui 4-H Livestock Show and Auction. The two-day event concludes today with animal showmanship contests scheduled to start at 9 a.m.

A royally wild ride – Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

Upcountry Ag & Farm Fair

The 32nd Upcountry 4-H Ag & Farm Fair, a weekend of music, ‘ono food, games, exhibits, a rodeo–and the makings of great memories–will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oskie Rice Field & Arena on Olinda Road above Makawao. This year, the fair will honor Maui’s paniolo with a “Keeping the Spirit Alive” theme.

In partnership with Upcountry Fair, the Maui 4-H Livestock Association, a nonprofit organization specializing in youth and agriculture, will present its 2012 4-H Livestock Show & Auction beginning at 8 a.m., on Saturday, when 4-H members will show their goats, lambs, market hogs and beef steers. The auction begins at 1 p.m.

4-H projects and activities help youth develop life skills through livestock projects in which they take on the responsibilities of feeding, managing and exhibiting their animals. Students acquire knowledge and skills in selection, production, processing and marketing, which will help them establish future careers.

4-H members’ efforts culminate in the Maui 4-H Livestock Show, which provides opportunities for them to gain experience in showmanship and judging of an animal while practicing leadership and program planning skills.

Cooperative support from the business community and public agencies make these events possible. By purchasing an animal, your business can help a 4-H member meet the objectives of his or her livestock project and encourage him or her to become a responsible, productive individual.

The annual Upcountry Fair Ranch Play Day features the ‘Ohana Ranch Rodeo, which spotlights the ranching community’s paniolo heritage with two action-packed days of challenging events and competition that combine ranch skills, horsemanship and family games

Onion Fun in the Sun

Drawing in the crowds as usual will be the 23rd annual Maui Onion Festival Saturday at Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurant at Kaanapali Resort.

With continuous entertainment on two stages, it’s always a draw because it’s fun for the whole family.

Highlights include the Maui Onion Eating Contests for keiki and adults, live music, cooking contests, chef demos with free food samples, other food booths, a beer garden and vendors.

Admission and parking are free and the fun activities will run all day long from 9:45 a.m. until after dark.

“Whalers Village signature event since 1990, Maui Onion Festival will be even more dynamic than ever, summoning the creativity of Hawaii’s greatest chefs, and drawing a crowd for free culinary samples and a fun-packed day,” says organizer Lisa Donlon, who is also the mall’s marketing manager.

“Here’s a chance to learn about Maui’s top upcountry agricultural crop through the dazzling interpretations of our island chefs and the great restaurants of Kaanapali. The highlights are many, including prime retail offers, music, and entertainment – which will provide a perfect balance for all that good food.”

Do stroll around the expansive mall with outdoor walkways and check out the Beach Front Lawn area as well as the Center Stage.

Making it easier for farms to lure tourists

HILO — The island’s two planning commissions are making it easier for farms to lure and accommodate tourists.

The Windward Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously endorsed a measure that creates a new category of “minor” agri-tourism business that can bypass many of the rules imposed on larger operations. The measure, which also must be approved by the Leeward Planning Commission before going to the County Council, also eliminates the need for a site inspection before agri-tourism businesses can receive plan approval.

“This is one step in the right direction,” said Comissioner Wallace Ishiboshi. “It’s going to help the farmers.”

Meanwhile, the Leeward Planning Commission on May 17 will tackle a related rule tightening requirements on bed and breakfasts by expanding requirements for use permits from the commission in certain zoning designations.

Minor agri-tourism operations are defined as operations that see 15,000 visitors or less a year, with a weekly maximum of 350 visitors. Operations in that size range will no longer need plan approval before commencing operations.

“This will allow farmers to help supplement their agricultural business, especially on a monthly basis so they don’t have to wait for the crop to come in,” said Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd.

Avocado activities abound this weekend on the Big Island’s Kona Coast – As Maui Dines by Carla Tracy

Former President George H.W. Bush hated broccoli. But I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t love avocados. Cool and creamy, rich and texturally divine, this native American fruit is a perfect ingredient in, say, a California roll sushi, layered in a sandwich, and mashed into a spicy guacamole to be served with crunchy chips.

I also love to scoop out the buttery meat, slice into eye-appealing thick pieces, and sprinkle with a little cayenne, sea salt and a drizzle of lemon. Perfecto!

Those heading to the Big Island of Hawaii this weekend will find the sixth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival celebrating the versatile fruit.

Today, the festival fun will be centered around Kealakekua Bay Bed and Breakfast for a Farm-to-Fork Hawaii Dinner, according to publicist Fern Gavelek.

”The menu of the five-course, avocado-inspired meal is by Chef Devin Lowder of When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie. Dessert Chef Hector Wong of My Yellow Kitchen in Honolulu will prepare a seven-layer avo dessert. Seating is limited and a portion of the $85 price benefits the festival. For reservations, phone 328-8150.”

”The celebration culminates Saturday, Feb. 18 with the family-friendly 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hawai‘i Avocado Festival at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The free, community event offers a wealth of activities for attendees of all ages sprawling throughout the resort’s grounds.”

”Get tips on growing and grafting avocado trees, plus trees will be on sale for the home orchard. Leading the educational botanical sessions is a team of University of Hawai‘i staff

Know Your Land and Eat It Too

IN YOUR FRIDGE / Farmers’ market managers, Pamela Boyer and Annie Suite have joined hands with local farmers to create Oahu Agri-Tours. There’s no fancy farmhouse or massive farm machinery; what you see is what you get. You’ll experience first-hand how farmers are committed to practicing clean, organic farming.

Poamoho Farms is one of the farms on tour, and guests learn how the fruit orchard uses natural pest management and fertilization methods. Tin Roof Ranch farmers Luann Casey and Gary Gunder butcher their chickens the day before selling them at the market.

Na Mea Kupono wetland taro farm practices old school taro farming methods that most locals don’t even know about. Here you can also watch a traditional poi-pounding demonstration.

At Mohala Farms you’ll see how simple and natural farming is still possible (and still exists). After a tour of their herb garden, guests enjoy farm-made treats in the hale. And if that simply isn’t enough to get you excited about organic farms, there’s of course, chocolate. Waialua Estate Cacao, a local chocolate and coffee farm that serves up world class chocolate and coffee, rivals that of our neighbor Island.

Yes, all the hype of organic produce at chain markets may sound a little cliché, and the truth is, it is simple and true to Hawaii’s history.