One of my favorite Maui Events, the Ag Fest, was held last Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation.
On the first Saturday in April of each year the Maui County Farm Bureau partners with local farmers, ranchers and supporters of agriculture to present the Maui County Agriculture Festival. The Ag Fest is an opportunity for families to enjoy a Saturday outing filled with ono food, entertainment and education about agriculture on the Valley Isle.
Did you know that Maui has hundreds of farmers and ranchers? Coffee, sugar, pineapple, taro, mangos, cattle and aquaculture are just a few of the products our local agriculture industry grows and cares for. Onions and strawberries grown in Kula are a must have in many Hawaii kitchens. The protea flower (pictured above) is the perfect anchor for a flower arrangement.
The Ag Fest is the perfect opportunity for the community to meet Maui farmers and other vendors who utilize locally grown ingredients in their products. Maui Preserved pickles local fruits and veggies, which make wonderful pupus or side dishes. Their offerings also include vanilla beans, hot sauce and jam.
Slow Food Maui and Maui chefs were also on site to present the Grand Taste Education. The Grand Taste Education included talk story sessions with local chefs and a twelve plate tasting fleet of dishes prepared by our chefs partnering with local farmers. If you’re a Top Chef fan, you’ve probably guessed that is Maui’s own Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle on stage in the orange cap (you can follow Sheldon on twitter, just search for handle chefwonder).
The Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club shared their collection. This was one of my favorite parts of the Ag Fest, after eating of course.
Maui Thing was on hand with a painting booth for the keikis. Did you know Maui Thing hosts Second Saturday Art for Keikis? Check out their blog here for cute graphic Ts with a conscience and event updates.
If you’re a resident or visiting Maui soon and would like to visit a local farm, I recommend Alii Kula Lavender for its gorgeous grounds and soothing products and Kula Country Farms for its fresh produce stand and holiday events like pumpkin picking at Halloween. On my farm bucket list is also a tour of O’o Farm and the Surfing Goat Dairy (to die for goat cheese and truffles). Maui Country Farm Tours also offers special tour packages and the images on their blog are eye candy for the Maui lover. Ulupalakua Ranch is the place to go to get your wine on.