By far the most questions I’ve gotten about our recent trip to Maui have been about the Andaz Wailea but there has also been a lot of interest in the O’o Farm Tour and Luncheon, so here’s a photo tour of what we did one morning in picturesque Upcountry Maui.
At this point in our vacation, we had already settled into the Honua Kai condo in Kaanapali (post to come about that soon). Driving up to Kula is about an hour from West Maui so we planned ahead and had breakfast on the way at Tasty Crust in Wailuku. It’s an old-school local diner which means the prices are great! We thought it was ok overall. We ordered their specialties – fried rice and the banana pancakes. The pancakes were great but the fried rice topped with egg was ok (The Gazebo’s version is definitely the best). Service was friendly though and it was good for a cheap breakfast.
It’s about 25 minutes from Wailuku to Kula, where we had made reservations for the popular farm tour and luncheon at O’o Farm.
O’o Farm supplies all the produce for their restaurants: Pacific’O, I’O, The Feast at Lele (all along Front Street, Lahaina) and Aina Gourmet Market, (which conveniently is located in the Honua Kai where we were staying!). They are all organic and sustainable, and that’s the philosophy of the farm. They are definitely one of the pioneers of farm-to-table in Maui. Our tour guide and resident farmer, Ansel, explained all the different fruits and vegetables they grow on the farm. Note, it’s BYOB here so you can bring whatever beverages you want.
We made our way over to the main seating and cooking area. On the way I snapped these:
There we met Chef JJ:
At this point, if you’ve brought your own wine, beer or drinks, it will be stored in the refrigerator for you so you can continue on your tour. After the brief stop with Chef JJ, we all proceeded to the “garden” area where we looked at all the different produce in season. We were able to pick out any lettuces, herbs, and veggies which were ripe for picking, to be used in our first course: a farm-fresh salad!
After we’ve collected enough greens for the salad, Ansel brought them over to Cheff JJ to be washed and cleaned for the salad. We then went to the area where they harvest and roast the coffee. They are in the process of building a larger facility that will eventually include an espresso bar and seating area!
It was now time for lunch! Couldn’t wait to eat and sample the fresh goodies.Lunch was served buffet style. There is plenty of food:
In addition to having oil and vinegar for the salad at each table, there was Hawaiian sea salt too – just remember, a little goes a long way! Everything was prepared simply and beautifully – the ingredients really stood out. I thought that maybe having a special salad dressing would have been nice too – maybe a burnt orange vinaigrette made with the oranges from the grove!
Tours are 50 dollars pp and must be booked in advance. They run Monday through Thursday from 10:30am to around 1:15pm (or whenever you are done eating). A light jacket is recommended – it got cold then warm then cold again during lunch. Comfortable footwear is key – and preferably ones you won’t mind getting a bit muddy.
651 Waipoli Road, Kula, Hawaii 96790
And if you’re going to be in Upcountry Maui anyways, a visit to the Ali’i Kula Lavender farm is just down the road. It’s an amazing place, with enchanting views, beautiful gardens, delicious scones, and the most wonderful lavender lemonade.
Then, visit Kula Country Farms to buy some fresh Kula strawberries! Yum.