Another day, our last full day, and we took another day trip, again up the mountain, Mt. Haleakalā, that is. Back to Kula again, but this time a little higher on the mountain. We went to visit the Ali`i Kula Lavender farm.
The farm was created, as the story goes, accidentally, by Ali’i Chang, a Master Horticulturalist and Agriculture Artist after he retired from Alii Gardens in 1976 in Nahiku near Hana, HI.
He was given a lavender plant and being the consummate gardener, duly planted it before leaving for an extended trip around the world. Upon returning the lavender did what it does and thrived in the Kula, HI environment. The rest, as they say, is history.
We opted for the 30 minute walking tour, rather than the longer cart tour. In hindsight, this was a great choice. Our guide, Sean, was knowledgeable, informative and fun. She gave each participant clippings of the various lavenders to inspect, feel and smell.
The views of the valley between the older volcanic West Maui Mountains (Mauna Kahalawai) and the newer Haleakalā confirm the nickname “The Valley Isle.”
The farm is dotted with antiques, old farm equipment, windmills and several Buddha statues in homage to Mr. Ali’i Chang’s Buddhist faith.
Also prominent throughout the farm are Jackson or “three-horned” Chameleons. We did’t see any until another visitor walked up to our group with one on his hand.
Knowing Grace loves lizards, Fran asked the young man is we could take some pictures, and he happily obliged.
The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is a short ride up the mountain, which, had a large swath of the valley not been burned in a huge grass fire earlier this summer, would have been a very pretty ride. The views from the road are spectacular. An added benefit is the temperature was nearly 15 degrees cooler, which was a welcome respite from the summer heat of the valley.