I read a great article the other day in the Living Maui Style magazine. In the article Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez spoke with the Executive director of the Maui County Farm Bureau, Warren Watanbe about Maui’s Kula Agricultural “Ag” Park. Most people when they think of Maui think of beaches, and when it comes to our fruits a pineapple, maybe some mango and papaya trees come to mind. Most visitors don’t get a chance to learn about our fabulous farms Upcountry in Kula that grow mouth watering vegetables and other fruits not commonly thought of as “Maui” like strawberries.
The Kula Ag Park has 445 acres on 31 lots farmed by 26 farmers. Watanbe has a sustainable goal of 50% of residents food coming from our crops here in the islands. Currently it is estimated according to the article that we import 85% of the calories we consume. Crops like Maui Onion, Strawberries, Lettuce, Cabbage, Berries for Jams, tomatoes and herbs are all grown on Maui. There are many “fruit and vegetable stands” and a large one on Lower Kula Highway makai side of the road on the way out to Ulupalakua, but many of our locally grown products can be found in any grocery store.
Whether you live here or visit here when shopping for food take time to look for the Maui Grown seal with the green leaf. You will be enjoying food that is fresh and you will also support our local farmers.