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).
Maui’s Winery is the Valley Isle’s sole commerical winery boasting a varied selection of wines including sparkling, pineapple, grape and our coveted raspberry dessert wine. With hard work, attention to detail and the pursuit of excellence, Maui’s Winery continues to be a successful and thriving agricultural business and popular visitor destination. We believe that it is our duty to be stewards of our land by producing a wine that reflects the distinctiveness of Maui.
The story of Maui’s Winery is a great story of sustainability. In 1974, in collaboration with Californian Emil Tedeschi, Ulupalakua Ranch began growing grapes, remaining true to the area’s agricultural heritage. While waiting for the grapes to mature, they decided to develop a sparkling wine made from the plentiful pineapples on Maui. A scant amount of this wine was produced, but the public response to the wine was so positive that it was decided to pursue the endeavor of making a still pineapple wine. Three years later, Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. In 1984, after years of labor and development, the first grape product was released: Maui Brut Sparkling.
Over the years, Maui’s Winery enjoyed a successful partnership with Maui Pineapple Company, obtaining juice from their pineapple operations. After Maui Pine sold its production assets to Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company in 2009, the winery was able to buy the juicing equipment and bring it to Ulupalakua. Pineapple juice is now crushed from delicious Maui Gold Fresh pineapples right here at the winery
We were poking around upcountry Maui and driving its narrow, twisting roads, but by midafternoon we had to turn around. We had an important date at a lower elevation.
Forget meeting friends for mai-tais or heading to Lahaina for the sunset. We were going to herd the animals at Surfing Goat Dairy.
Herding anything may be the last activity one considers for a Maui vacation. But the dairy is one of several island farms that have opened for public tours over the last few years. They offer the chance to explore the island’s back roads, meet the growers and learn something about the exotic fruits, vegetables and cheeses you’ll encounter and enjoy on Maui.
“It’s a growing national trend,” says Maui resident Charlene Kauhane, a board member of the Hawaii Agri-Tourism Association. “Visitors are looking for authentic experiences, for opportunities where they can meet locals and buy local.”
And sometimes, you just want a break from the beach. So let’s go down on the farm on Maui.
Alii Kula Lavender Farm
Even before you arrive, you’ll detect Alii Kula Lavender Farm from the lovely fragrance wafting over Upcountry. It comes from 45 lavender varieties planted over 10 acres in Haleakala’s foothills. You can meander over paths on your own, or join one of the walking tours. You’ll learn about lavender’s culinary uses and healthful benefits, as well as the farm’s dedication to practicing agriculture in a sustainable way.
Alii Lavender also offers workshops in wreath making and container gardens, and other special events.
What would Hawaii be without pineapple?
Recently I picked up a copy of Hawai’i Magazine while I had some time to kill. It had an article about the Hali’imaile Pineapple Company, Ltd. saving pineapple production on the island of Maui. For most people, this would be of passing interest. For me, it was like Christmas all over again.
I’ve worked the pineapple fields of Maui Land and Pine. I still remember where I was when I learned that the company was ceasing its pineapple operation. It was a very sad day. Hawaii and pineapple are forever associated with a really special time in my life. As I get older, I recognize that while some things may not be 100% perfect for the bottom line, they are worth preserving to maintain our connection to our roots. Hawaii pineapple is one of those worthy endeavors.
We always check 3-6 in our luggage. When I tell the ag inspectors that I have pineapples in my luggage and ask if they want to see them, they always say don’t bother. The pineapples have always made the trip back fine.
Easy to buy the Maui Golds at Costco – usually around $3 each. Just remember the extra weight in your luggage – one of our suitcases with the pineapples weighed in at 55 pounds. When I told the agent the pineapples put us over, she just laughed and put an overweight sticker on the bag. No extra fees.
May be a pain – but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a pineapple brought back from Hawaii!
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Overview of the Company
MAUI LAND & Pineapple Company, Inc. is a Hawaii corporation and the successor to a business organized in 1909. We are a landholding company. Our principal subsidiary is Kapalua Land Company, Ltd., the operator and developer of Kapalua Resort, a master-planned community in West Maui. Our reportable operating segments are Resort and Community Development. In December 2009, all of our Agriculture segment operations were ceased and the segment is reported as discontinued operations.
AR-Cal Distributing in Arvin, CA, has taken over as the exclusive North American sales agent for the Maui Gold pineapple, which is now being grown and packed by the Haliimaile Pineapple Co. Ltd. in Halliimaile, HI.
AR-Cal is the marketing and distribution arm of Trino Packing & Cold Storage Inc., which is also headquartered in Arvin and owned by longtime produce industry veteran John Trino.
Mr. Trino said that he has long had an affinity for Hawaii and became well acquainted with the Maui Gold pineapple when it was being marketed by the Maui Land & Pineapple Co.
That company, which owns and operates resort properties and golf courses in addition to its agricultural division, has had well-publicized financial issues during the past couple of years.
Maui Land & Pineapple Co. has sold off several golf courses and also sold the rights to the “Maui Gold” brand name.
Mr. Trino said that backers of the new pineapple company have pumped a good deal of money into the operation over the past year and have secured significant land for production.
Since Jan. 1, Haliimaile has been shoring up the sales of pineapples in Hawaii and has been mostly using Calavo for its mainland sales. Mr. Trino has been consulting for the firm on an informal basis since 2009 while it was under development, and recently agreed to the exclusive marketing agreement.
“I am basically going to be acting as a broker and a sales agent,” he said. “Haliimaile will do billing and invoicing.”
Mr. Trino said that the key to successful sales of the Maui Gold pineapple on the mainland is to limit supplies to the extent that there is demand.
“I told them to build up their sales in Hawaii and to grow slowly in North America,” Mr. Trino said. “You cannot flood the market. No longer will there be consignment sales. Everything will be an f.o.b. sale.”
AR-Cal’s agreement was slated to begin officially Oct. 1, but on Sept. 29, when Mr. Trino spoke with The Produce News, he said, “We have cans on the water and are taking orders.”
He said that the f.o.b. price Long Beach, CA, or Seattle, which are the two ports to which the product is being shipped and unloaded via ocean freighter, was $11.50 on that day.
“There has been about a five- or six-week gap in supplies, which has made for a good transition,” he added.
Although the Maui Gold has typically enjoyed better sales on the West Coast because of its proximity to Hawaii, Mr. Trino said that the company is selling nationwide and will air freight to the East Coast when appropriate.
But he added that Mexican pineapples are typically $2-$4 cheaper and enjoy a freight rate advantage to the East Coast, so the demand is limited.
“But it is the best-tasting pineapple there is,” he stated.
Handling sales of the product for AR-Cal is Harold Stein, another longtime produce sales veteran.
The Produce News AR-Cal inks Maui Gold deal
Ar-Cal Distributing has taken over the mainland marketing of Hawaii-grown Maui Gold pineapples.
Ar-Cal, a division of Arvin, Calif.-based Trino Packing and Cold Storage, inked a deal with HaliiMaile, Hawaii-based HaliiMaile Pineapple Co. Ltd. to be the North American sales agent for Maui Golds, which HaliiMaile has exclusive rights to, said John Trino, Ar-Cal’s president.
Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc. had been the mainland marketer for Maui Golds when the variety was owned by Makawao, Hawaii-based Maui Land & Pineapple Inc.
HaliiMaile, which became the exclusive marketer of Maui Golds effective Jan. 1, has cut production of Maui Golds from 3,000 to 4,000 acres to 650 acres, Trino said.
Rudy Balala, HaliiMaile’s vice president, said the company is focusing its marketing efforts on the mainland on high-end customers. He said the company can’t compete with pineapples from other countries on price.
“We know we have a superior product,” he said. “Our fruit tastes really good, and we’ve heard a lot of positive comments about it on the mainland.”
HaliiMaile expects to ship about 3,000 to 4,000 cases a week to the mainland U.S., Balala said.
Festival of Pineapples Featuring Haliimaile Pineapple Company & their sweet Maui Gold Pineapples
Date: Saturday, August 21st, 2010
Time: 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Categories: Food & Beverage, Mall / Shopping
70 E Kaahumanu Ave
Kahului, HI USA 96732
Island Area: Central Maui
EVENT CONTACT INFORMATION
Phone: 808-877-8952 or 808-871-1307