Kula Country Farms staffer Tom Koch paints a section of bandstand Thursday while preparing for the upcoming Pumpkin Patch. The popular annual event at the farm on Kula Highway is set to run the month of October. Koch said he didn’t know how many pumpkins are currently growing at the farm other than that there were “thousands.” He said there were also “a lot of varieties.”
NOW ACCEPTING RESERVATIONS FOR OCTOBER!
Aloun Farms offers educational tours of our pumpkin patch and our farm for school groups.
Educational Pumpkin Tour Dates
- Starting Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
- Tuesdays through Fridays in October
- Leaving Aloun Farms check in center every 30 min
- First tour departs 8:30am, last tour departs at 11:00am (6 time slot available per day)
- Educational talk (approximately 10 min)
- Fresh pumpkins for harvest
- Reusable tote
- Educational booklet
- Hay ride (approximately 10 min)
Tour fee is $12 per visitor (teachers, students, chaperones and parents will be charged per head) for reservations. Early bird reservations booked before July 15th will be charged $10 per visitor upon arrival at tour.
Payment is due the day of your visit to the educational pumpkin tour. Cash, check, credit card or PO accepted.
- All visitors of the educational pumpkin tour are required to wear closed toe shoes
- If you wish to have lunch after your tour, please make a reservation at least 1 day prior to tour to reserve a space for your group
- Visitors assume all risk of personal injury that may occur as a result of participation in the tour
- Fresh produce bags will be available for purchase ($12 per bag)
- Aloun Farms is accepting canned food donations for the Hawaii Food Bank throughout the month of October
- Rain or shine, we make sure your group is able to pick up a pumpkin. Alternative arrangements can be made the morning of due to rain
If you have any comments or questions about the school tour, please email us at email@example.com or contact us at (808) 677-9516. If you wish to book a time slot that is not available online, please contact us for special request.
We thank you for your interest and participation and we look forward to seeing you in October!
By Sue Suchyta
Lincoln Park native and botanist Jeffrey Boutain, Ph.D., has a growing ambition to show that great things can grow in small spaces, as demonstrated by his gigantic gourds and supersized sunflowers.
He said big things can easily happen in the small backyards of cities like Lincoln Park.
“This year, I was a gourd short of squashing the world record of 1,776.6 pounds in the 2020 150-square foot (grow space) pumpkin contest,” Boutain said. “Hopefully, growing giant plants in small garden spaces for competitions will inspire others, not only my students, to show off their green thumbs.”
Boutain, a botany and biology professor at Wayne County Community College, grew his 1,770-pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin in 96 square feet of garden space in Lincoln Park, which he entered in the Central Great Lakes weigh-off at Andy T’s Farm Market in St. Johns, Michigan.
He also won a second-place rosette at the Great Pumpkin Contest weigh off at the 2020 Virtual Michigan State Fair, with a 296-pound True Green squash.
Boutain said his focus is on ethnobotany, which is studying the past and present use of plants by people for food, fiber, medicine and rituals.
“A great way to engage and encourage students in many areas of science is to know and grow iconic species, like giant sunflowers and pumpkins,” he said. “After students make an observation, test a hypothesis and conclude from the results, they are rewarded with edible seeds and fruits from their experiments. As a result, both the students and plants win.”
For 36 years, Boutain has honed his green thumb by exploring and gardening with his family.
He said his recent experiments with growing giant plants in small spaces stems from his time spent living in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii, while he was in graduate school.
“With high living costs for small rental spaces in many cities, I adapted from the in-ground soil gardening that is typical of the suburbs of southeastern Michigan to above-ground, potted plants on concrete driveways and balconies in the city of Honolulu,” Boutain said.
He said the biggest hurdle for people to grow plants in small spaces is preventing normal pests, like insects, and fungal, bacterial and viral infections.
“With such a small patch to grow a pumpkin plant, I am developing new methods in my attempt to grow a record heavy fruit in 96-square feet or less,” Boutain said. “Giant sunflowers also are very easy to grow for competitions, and even a crack in the concrete (driveway) can produce tall specimens like the plant variety called Mammoth.”
Another technique he uses to grow gourds, which include pumpkins, melons and squash, is to allow the root to start from a one cubic foot pot, set on a driveway, from which the vines extend. The gourds can then be cushioned on organic material, like a hay bale, while the vine still extends to its original pot. This year, one of his pot-planted gourds weighed in at 99 pounds.
Boutain lauds all the plant people who nurtured growing gardens this past season, as the pandemic keep many people close to home.
“In this 2020 harvest season, I appreciate all the farmers, laborers and teachers for their hard work,” he said.
By Dominique Marshall
My family has made it an annual tradition to go to the pumpkin patch at Aloun Farms ever since I was a baby. Unfortunately for us, our tradition may not pull through this year because Aloun Farms has decided to cancel the event for the safety of its’ guests. Although it is not the same as Aloun Farms, Waimanalo Country Farm will have to suffice in order to keep our tradition alive! However, that is not the only pumpkin patch on the island and Waimanalo Country Farm thought of another way to have it while still following all of the restrictions.
The solution to this was to have a drive-thru pumpkin patch, which included an audio-guided tour of the farm from the comfort of your car and 20 minutes in the pumpkin patch to take pictures and pick your pumpkin.
When I first heard about it, I was a little skeptical because one of my favorite things about going is being able to walk up to the fields to explore what they had to offer. Being from Hawaii, it is really difficult to get into the fall spirit because we don’t experience the leaves changing colors and the weather getting colder. Going to the pumpkin patch is one of the best ways to get us into the spirit of Fall.
While scrolling through Instagram, I noticed that a lot of people started posting about the drive-thru pumpkin patch so I decided to look into it. In order to go, you have to make a reservation online, where you choose the time, date, and how many people are in the car. It costs $10 per person and the maximum amount of people that you can have per car is 5. This event runs until Oct. 31.
When you first arrive at the farm, you check-in and are given a form to fill out for their market along with a QR code to scan. The price of admission includes a choice of a flavored lemonade or sweet tea. Once your time slot comes, are given the okay to continue, you begin the audio tour. The first stop is one of the most popular, the patch to pick your pumpkin!
The area that they had set for the patch was laid out perfectly and it was very easy to social distance from other parties. Aside from social distancing, the strictest rule was taking the first pumpkin you touched, which was very different from a normal pumpkin picking because I normally pick it up and examine it fully to make sure that it is the perfect one. So I had to change my tactic this year and go based on just how they look from afar. Although it was a different experience from previous years, it still brought back all of the good memories with my family.
After spending 20 minutes getting your photos and picking your pumpkin, you head to the exit and purchase the pumpkin for $10, you get back into the car and drive to another big tractor wheel to scan another QR code to continue the tour. It goes through the complete farm showcasing different parts of it from the animals to the other plants that they grow. It was interesting to hear the history of the farm and how many generations it has gone through. Being able to have an audio tour was a great touch to the whole experience because although we had to stay in our cars and avoid socializing it made us still feel like we were connected to the family who owns the farm.
At the end of the tour is the country market where you pick up the items you ordered on the form you got in the beginning. They offer different types of items from sweet corn to smaller pumpkins. All of the items ordered here are excluded from the price of admission. The prices range from $8 to $15 depending on the item.
Overall the whole experience went smoothly and was fun for all members of the family. For more information about the Drive-thru pumpkin patch and other events, visit the Waimanalo Country Farm website.
by: Kristy Tamashiro
Hundreds of pumpkins, views for days and family fun. Kula Country Farms is giving Maui residents something to look forward to this fall.
The pumpkin patch festival has been a fan favorite for 15 years.
This year, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought on a much different event, but the fourth generation farm is implementing safety measures in order to keep the tradition going.
“They’re going to get temperature checked, they’re going to be social distanced in here,” said Chauncy Monden, Owner of Kula Country Farms. “They’re going to be asked to minimize their time in the patch to about 15 minutes so other families can get in there and enjoy.”
Take a stroll through the 80 acre property and guests will find pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
“We have about 20 different varieties of pumpkins and we got some goodies like strawberry lemonade and strawberries that we grow on the farm.”
Kula Country Farms says, like many other farms, it’s been a tough year. They’re depending on their pumpkin patch festival to give them a boost in the right direction.
This year’s pumpkin patch means much more to the family farm than any other event.
“It’s really rewarding for us, because I know a lot of people have been cooped up in their houses with nothing to do. So just to have them come up here and just get this fresh air and get out of their houses and the concrete and be able to get some dirt on them is rewarding.”
To support Kula Country Farms, check out their fruit stand year-round.
Their produce are also in stores like Whole Foods, Times Supermarket, Foodland and Costco.
To learn more about Kula Country Farms, click here.
It is the Spooky Season at Azeka Shopping Center. But due to the ongoing safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kihei shopping center is celebrating Halloween virtually with an Azeka Pumpkin Carving & Painting Contest.
Families who are carving and designing pumpkins for Halloween are invited to submit a photo of their creation by using the hashtag #AzekaPumpkinParty in the Facebook or Instagram caption and tagging @azekamaui. The contest runs Oct. 24-31.
Entries are open to all families and all ages with a chance to win $50 in “Azeka Gift Card Bucks,” as well as garnering bragging rights.
Winners will be chosen for two prize categories: “Spookiest Pumpkin” and “Most Creative Pumpkin.”
The keiki can create their own masterpieces by painting a miniature pumpkin. Please ensure your profile page privacy is set to public in order to enter the contest. More information can be found by calling 808-879-5000, visiting www.azekashoppingcenter.com or on social media at @azekamaui.
This Year Will Look A Lot Different Than In The Past, But We Have Been Working Really Hard To Make Sure We Can Provide A Safe And Fun Experience For Everyone. Reservations Are Required.
Open Everyday From October 17Th Through October 31St!
First Car In At 9Am, Last Car In At 4Pm.
A leisurely drive around our farm with beautiful mountain and ocean views! Includes a cup of your choice from our famous beverages, a unique pumpkin patch experience with various photo prop ops, drive by farm animal visit, a scarecrow contest display, and additionally you may be able to sneak a peek at our sunflowers (they are growing right now, should start blooming late October). This option is an in-vehicle only option. You will not be exiting your vehicle, except for a few optional stops where you will pull off the path so you can pick your own pumpkin in the fields and snap your photos at the photo ops. (We ask that you are mindful of others around you and ask that you quickly take your photos and move on). Thank you for understanding. (Please note that there is a 9 1/2 foot vehicle height clearance.)
***PUMPKINS ARE NOT INCLUDED WITH YOUR DRIVE THRU FEE***
Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in. It is very important that you arrive ON TIME so you do not miss your start time. Due to the current pandemic we are limited to only a certain amount of people per start time.
Check in at the Farm check-in stand, and a friendly employee will check you in and direct you on where to start! Afterwards follow the exit signs directing you to the Drive-Thru Country Market Stand to purchase other farm fresh, Waimanalo Country Farms items.
You will have a total of 20 minutes in the pumpkin patch itself. This will give you time to pick and purchase your pumpkin(s) as well as utilizing the photo ops. When the horn sounds, you will have to exit the patch and finish the rest of the drive thru course around the farm. (Please note that we must set a time restriction on how long you occupy the actually pumpkin patch to follow guidelines and government rules on social distancing).
Please bring your own masks. All persons 3 years and over are required to wear a mask when visiting Waimanalo Country Farms. Masks are required, whenever interacting with a farm employee. This includes those in vehicles using the Farm Check-in Stand, Drive-Thru Market Stand and those exiting their vehicles for pumpkin picking and photo op usage.
Social Distancing rules apply. Please keep 6′ away from other guests.
No eating while in the field.
While driving through the neighboring subdivision, please drive SLOW and be mindful of our neighbors.
Speed limit while on the farm is not more than 4MPH.
If you touch it, please pick it. Please look carefully before you pick.
Additional Covid-19 Steps We are Taking to Ensure a Safe Visit:
Currently with the government mandate, not more than 5 persons within a group are able to be together (if you have more than 5 same household members present, you are able to participate in the drive thru pumpkin patch but not permitted to exit the car (at the time of pumpkin picking) with more than 5 people at a time; see reservations page for instructions for booking).
In keeping with CDC guidelines, and for the safety of our employees, we ask that you please wear a cloth face covering, or mask, when visiting the farm. Our team will also be wearing masks to protect you.
Disclaimer: In the event of bad weather, unforeseen crop loss, new regulations due to Covid-19, or in any event we have to cancel, we will send you an email and refund your money as soon as possible.
NOTE: All persons 3 years and above are required to pay in order to participate. Children 2 years and under are FREE but do not receive any items.
*Following strict social distancing rules will allow us to continue to offer these events. Please only arrange to pick with immediate members of your household to protect all participants and employees. This is NOT a social gathering and we will enforce strict social distancing protocols.
*Upon completing your reservation, you are agreeing to these rules, regulations, and terms stated above. If you are unable to follow these rules, regulations, and terms, you will be asked to leave immediately without a refund.
By Catherine Toth Fox
We’re still waiting for the first sighting of migrating humpback whales and maybe some chilly weather—it’s been blisteringly hot this week!—but there are a few ways you can conjure the season. Even if it still feels like summer. (Not complaining!)
1. Pick Pumpkins at This Drive-Thru Pumpkin Patch in Waimānalo
The family-run Waimānalo Country Farms in Windward Oʻahu is hosting a fun—and safe—pumpkin patch drive-thru with photo ops, animal sightings and a huge field of pumpkins. (You have 20 minutes to run out and pick one!) You can also buy lemonade, fresh honey and other small treats at the drive-thru market stand. The first event is Saturday, Oct. 17 and runs through Oct. 31. Reservations are required. 41-225 Lupe St., Waimānalo, (808) 306-4381, waimanalocountryfarms.com/reservations, @waimanalocountryfarms
2. Head to Waikīkī, Like, STAT
Thursday (Oct. 15) was the first day of Hawaiʻi’s pre-arrivals testing program, which allows travelers with negative COVID-19 test results to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine. On the first day, there was an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people arriving in the Islands—and that number will likely only increase if this pre-arrivals program is successful. So you might want to take advantage of the gorgeous weather predicted for this weekend and hit the beach—maybe one that’s normally crowded with visitors this time of the year. Our picks: Kailua Beach, Sunset Beach on the North Shore and, of course, Waikīkī Beach.
3. Get Your Cocktail On
Our pal—and master mixologist—Chandra Lucariello came up with a cocktail that’s packed with warm fall flavors: star anise, roasted pumpkin, orange and, of course, whiskey! And not just any whiskey but the craft spirit from Koʻolau Distillery in Kailua. Because who said Halloween was just for kids? (Not us.)
Mahi Pono will celebrate its first fall harvest with a drive-thru festival and sales of farm-fresh produce, the company announced.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Yokouchi Family Estate in Wailuku, at the entrance from the lower gate on Koele Street.
“The past seven months have been an extremely challenging time for our community, especially the keiki, and we wanted to create a fun activity for families to participate in fall traditions like picking out a pumpkin to carve and trick-or-treating,” Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations for Mahi Pono, said in a news release. “We also wanted to make this event a benefit for Imua Family Services in recognition of the outstanding work they continue to do each and every day.”
The drive-thru festival will feature the following stops:
• Station 1: Drive-thru trick-or-treat stations. Keiki are encouraged to come dressed in costume and will be able to receive candy directly from their vehicle.
• Station 2: Pickup of preordered pumpkins to take home and carve for Halloween. The first 200 people who purchase pumpkins will receive a free carving kit. Pumpkins will cost $10 with net proceeds benefiting Imua Family Services.
• Station 3: Pickup of preordered product boxes featuring farm-fresh produce. Additional products available at this station will include Maui Cattle Company’s 5-pound ground beef, 5-pound papaya box, potato chips and farm-sourced honey.
Participants are encouraged to order pumpkins, produce, beef and other products online at PulehunuiFarmMarket.com. A limited supply of these items will also be available for purchase at the event.
Net proceeds from all pumpkin sales will benefit Imua Family Services and its community-based program that assists keiki with overcoming developmental learning challenges.
“In difficult times like this when businesses and nonprofits join together, we create a symbiotic relationship that enhances community and cultivates stronger interconnectedness,” said Dean Wong, executive director for Imua Family Services.
For more information on Mahi Pono’s Fall Harvest, pricing and to preorder, visit PulehunuiFarmMarket.com.