Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gecko Jack O' Lantern

Happy Halloween!  Be safe wherever you are. 

Jack O' Lantern with geckos.

Yup, I know the picture's a bit blurry - taking night time photography is not one of my skill sets! 

After the Tsunami Warning

Maui had another brush with disaster on Saturday night, 10/27/12, with a tsunami warning issued at 7:30 pm after an earthquake occurred off the coast of Canada.

Luckily, nothing happened. Or nothing much. The County reported no major damage from the tsunami. Still yet, people in Pa'ia, Kihei, and other shoreline areas had to evacuate. Sirens started going off at 7:30 pm. Police drove up and down streets in Pa'ia to help spread the tsunami warning. Halloween events for the Saturday before Halloween were cancelled. But many of them are rescheduled for this coming Saturday. 

Here's a video shot by some residents in Kihei as the tsunami warning sirens are sounding. By the way, a very short, about 15 second emergency siren went off today around 11 am because they always test emergency sirens the first day of each month. 

Hotels made visitors evacuate to the upper floors. The County of Maui shut off water in Kahului. The last plane arrived around 7:30 pm and the airport issued warnings to tourists that they had one hour to get their bags, get their cars, and head to higher ground. And twitter was abuzz with tweets for the hashtag #hitsunami.

Not everyone in coastal areas had to evacuate. Some friends who are only 90 feet above sea level were able to stay in their homes. People in one side of Hana Highway in Ku'au had to evacuate, but the residents on the other side of the highway could stay home.

Around 1:30 am or so, the all clear signal was given and people were allowed to go back to their homes. And some people were able to sleep through all the noise anyhow - amazing!

On the other hand, folks in the East Coast weren't so lucky and are dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  Our thoughts are with them. 

Last year, in March, there was another tsunami warning when Japan had a major earthquake. There was actually some damage in Hawaii from those waves, although the waves were thankfully not tsunami-sized. I did go out to the beach the next day and the waves were extremely erratic. This year, I decided to play it safe, and stay away from the water. 

The last major tsunami that Kahului experienced was I believe in 1964. There was some serious flooding and people found octopus dangling in their trees and sea life in their yards. So, tsunamis can happen, as described in this timeline on Hawaii tsunamis, and it's better to be safe and evacuate if the sirens go off again. 

Tita’s Pidgin Ghost Stories

Whaaat? You stay on Maui and you no know who Tita is? (That’s pidgin for “What, you’re on Maui and you don’t know who Tita is?”)

Kathy “Tita” Collins is one of Maui’s treasures. A popular local comedian and radio personality at Mana’o Radio, Kathy often appears at schools and local events to emcee or tell stories. She switches into an alternative role, playing “Tita,” a wise-cracking, in your face, pidgin talking tough gal. 

Tita isn’t a name she made up, it’s what locals call a local woman with an attitude. Titas can range from downright mean and bitchy to assertive and standing one’s ground, depending on the context. 

Historically, tita has had a negative meaning, but women like Kathy Collins are taking back the word tita. Kathy’s Tita is funny and friendly, more like a gruff older sister who’s watching out for you.

Recently, for Halloween, Tita told some obake (Japanese for ghost, and now a local pidgin word) tales at the Kihei Public Library and the Bailey House Museum. Her pidgin is not too hard to understand and she gives  She makes her pidgin easy to understand, so anyone can get it.

A few pidgin phrases she uses:

1. Stink eye. Giving someone da stink eye is the same as giving someone a dirty look.
2. Shoots!  Depends on the context, but can mean “sure” or “okay” or can be an expression of dismay like “crap” or “drat.”
3. Garenz ball barenz. Means “for sure” and comes from guarantee and ball bearings. I have no idea how this phrase originated.
4. Make (pronounced mah-kay) means dead.
5. Moe or moe moe is sleep.
6. Pupule is crazy.

A few other comments on pidgin:
1. The sound “th” is not pronounced. Like if you’re saying “three,” it’s pronounced “tree.” Or if something is so thick, it’s “so tick.”
2. Pidgin uses a lot of double negatives like “I no feel nothing.” Or “No more nothing left.”
3. Dakine is a filler word, kind of like the word “like” in Valley Girl speak. It can be used as an adjective, a noun, and just about anything else.
4. The word “stay” is used in place of “is.” Like in asking, “Where he stay?” (Where is he?)

I’m not an expert on pidgin by any means, but you can study it just like any language, by taking classes and studying books. 

Visit more posts in the Archives. If you enjoy this post, consider signing up for a monthly-ish newsletter for insider tidbits about Maui.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Rare Flower on Maui

No, it's not endangered... it's not a native plant, endemic to Maui... It's a common garden flower - but not on Maui!

Roses are red, or pink or white
Growing roses on Maui can be quite a fight...

This post is connected to MauiShopGirl's pink photo challenge

A rare sight on Maui, where hardy subtropical flowers dominate.
Believe it or not, this rose was found in Haiku.

Maui abounds in tropical and subtropical flowers: bromeliads, heliconias, anthuriums, hibiscus, but flowers from cooler climates, especially roses, have a difficult time here. If you ever see a rosebush on Maui, its caretaker has given it some loving attention. With the high humidity, soil diseases, and bugs (remember Maui has lots of bugs all year round), roses need extra attention. People still try to grow them as evidenced by occasional rose plants for sale at Home Depot, Lowe's, or Walmart. Kula Hardware often has rose bushes for sale.

A more common flower in Hawaii: hibiscus, which comes in many colors.
Hibiscus is as common on Maui as roses are in Oregon. 

I've never dared to grow roses here, but every now and then see an unexpected rosebush. They are more prevalent in Kula, where it's cooler and drier, but once in a while, I'll see a rosebush in Kihei or even in Haiku, which has the worst conditions for growing roses!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beware Zealous Police Ticketing in Pa'ia

Maybe the police ticketing has eased up in Paia, but a few weeks ago, I was informed by a friend that the police were ticketing even jay walkers and cars that were parked so that their tire crossed the white line.
Is this your car? Try to stay within the white lines.
Jaywalkers are a fundamental part of the Paia scene, so it's a surprise to hear police targeted them. According to my friend (yes, this is secondhand info, via the old-fashioned "coconut wireless" as we say here), some cops approached a large group of jaywalkers and "herded" them in such a way that they could easily ticket each person. At least one person got away by pretending to not understand English and/or to be be unable to see well enough to sign the ticket. The fine was some outrageous amount, like over $100 for jaywalking. 

Similarly, my friend related that she knew people whose cars had received tickets just for being past the white line in a parking space, or for being too far from the curb.  One woman apparently fought the charge by photographing how far she was from the edge of the sidewalk, and brought her evidence and case to the courthouse, and won since she was within 12" of the curb. 

How much of this is true and how much is exaggerated? Hard to know since I wasn't there, but I've been very careful parking in Paia. At the last Fourth Friday town party in Paia, I heard that the police issued several tickets for manini (small or petty) violations. The police ticketing may even be related to the cancellation of Paia's Fourth Friday, which will restart in Kihei in December.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Bailey House Museum on Museum Day

Maui is not known for its museums. Beaches, yes. Windsurfing yes. Romantic spots, yes. Museums, no. But Maui has museums. 

Bailey House, facing the parking lot and street.
For the first time ever, I took myself on an “artist date” and visited the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku as part of National Museum Day, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. On this day, the public can register for a free museum pass for 2 people to visit a participating museum.

I had a lot of preconceptions about the Bailey House, even though I had never been there. For starters, I thought it was a missionary museum like Oahu’s Mission Houses Museum, about the history of the missionaries in Hawaii, and I was so wrong. For various reasons, I have mixed feelings about the missionaries and I won’t get into that now.  The Bailey House Museum is a small but intriguing museum, with old artifacts and displays that made me want to look closer.

Hawaiian land snails, which are practically extinct,
but were plentiful back in the 1800s. 
A close up of the land snails, and part of a lei (upper right corner) that didn't photograph well through museum glass.

Once a family home, the Bailey House has a kitchen area, living room, and bedrooms upstairs. Hallways are narrow and rooms are boxy in a New England fashion.  The staff in the entry and museum shop gave me a short summary of the building’s history, much of which I don’t remember except that the Baileys once lived there, hence the name, and that Mr. Bailey was an artist who painted in oil, and later on the house became a school.

This is a painting of Maliko Gulch just before Haiku!
As it looked back in the day, before jet boats launched out of it,
before SUP races, before the highway was built...
Four poster bed with a vintage Hawaiian quilt. 

My favorite museum item: an etching of a night blooming cereus.
It was right next to the bed , so someone in the Bailey House must have been fond of this flower. 

Outside the Bailey House, a long house for canoes.

On the lawn of the Bailey House, a local ukulele group
performing just for Museum Day.

I do have some video footage, but ahem, haven't had a chance to edit or post any of that.  I hope to update this post in a week or two with some video.

Marianne Klaus
 The big surprise was meeting a community garden member, Marianne Klaus, who turned out to be a ceramics artist and staff member at the Bailey House. Marianne and other artists had artwork on display in a side building on the grounds. Since Maui is such a small island, you never know who you’ll run into or where. 

PS. This post is linked with Maui Shop Girl's photo challenge for the theme: OLD. Check out other posts with old pics. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feeding a Crowd with GF Local Beef Bulgogi

This is a follow up to the Perils of Pauline Potluck post with tips on potluck planning. And, this post has recently been cross-posted to Gluten Free Maui's website. 

What worked: The food turned out fine.

I had gone to a local packing house the day before and picked up 9 lbs of local beef. Most of it was frozen beef chuck, but it turned out great by using green papaya to tenderize the beef.

Secret tip: Green papaya has enzymes
which tenderize meat. 

Then I marinated it in a Korean bulgogi sauce which I got from By the way, the “gogi” beef at the Eat Gogi food truck on Maui is also Korean beef bulgogi. I’m sure they use a proprietary recipe, but the main ingredients are similar to what I used.

Needed enough beef to feed what I thought might be oh, 30+ people. Ha ha ha. In my dreams. I adjusted the proportions to make 9 times the quantity in the recipe, and I wanted it to be gluten free for some gluten free friends.  Good thing I actually read the ingredients in the soy sauce label. I forgot that soy sauce is made from wheat which has gluten. Oh no!  I didn’t have enough Braggs Liquid Aminos to substitute, so I went to Haiku Grocery and looked for Braggs or tamari (wheat free soy sauce) which were pricey, but I did get a bottle of tamari. I also didn’t have enough sesame oil, and it was eye-openingly expensive, so I decided to fudge – a lot. It still wasn’t enough tamari to make what I needed so I ended up changing the recipe quite a bit.

Grilled beef bulgogi
The big fear was that the meat wouldn’t taste right. At the potluck, Suzanne’s husband did the grilling and I tried to not think about the beef. When the meat was served, I closed my eyes and took a bite. It was fine, no it was very good, no it was really ono (delicious). Everyone ate a lot of meat, and seconds or thirds, and asked how to make it. Here it is!  

This recipe is practically idiot proof. You can take the ratios and make them quite different, do a lot of substitutions, and it will still taste really good. And you can also use this on tofu, to make a vegetarian bulgogi. Remember, you can also just go to the original allrecipes version too, and make a much smaller amount (and you can certainly tweak it around).

Modified Gluten Free Korean Bulgogi for a big barbeque
9 lbs of beef
½ cup or more green papaya shredded, to tenderize the meat
½ cup Braggs + ¾ cup tamari
18 cloves of mashed garlic
1-2 cups of green onion, processed in food processor
8 Tablespoons sesame oil.
¼ cup of tahini, since I didn’t have enough sesame oil
6 tablespoons sugar – I didn’t want to use sugar, but didn’t have any agave syrup or alternative healthy sweetener. I also used quite a bit less sugar than what the original recipe called for. I did end up adding 1 tablespoon of honey since I had it and wasn’t sure it’d be sweet enough.
5 Tablespoons sesame seeds – if I had used the original recipe, I would have ended up with 18 tablespoons
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of pepper

Place beef in a shallow dish. Coat beef with shredded green papaya and let sit for at least an hour before adding the other ingredients. I ended up needing to use a large crock pot liner, it was the only thing big enough.

Mix other ingredients together and slather beef with mixture. Let sit overnight in the fridge.

I'd actually prefer this recipe to be posted on GFree Maui's site, but haven't talked with her about it, and she can't vouch for the taste. 

Shredded green papaya over local beef. 
The rest of the event was fine too and very impromptu. We ate about half of the beef I had marinated, so I had a freezer full of Korean bulgogi beef  - down to 1 pound now. Nothing started when I thought it would, in a typically Maui fashion. I had called the event a Memory Lane potluck with a focus on photo sharing, but the focus started out with food. 

Honey girls after tasting three kinds of honey. 
We even had an impromptu honey tasting - one honey from Mark and Leah Damon's farm up the road, tupelo honey from the South, and a creamed local honey. Then we finally got around to sharing (and guessing) photos from our childhood and of our parents. This actually turned out to be quite funny, especially when we figured out that one person forgot to bring any photos!  Nothing ended when I thought it would, in a typical Maui fashion. It would have taken forever if more than 9 people had showed up.  Informally, we’re planning a collage making potluck next month, and will see how well that works!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Island Health Trends, List of Cleanses and Detoxes

If you live on Maui long enough, regardless of whether you’re local or from the mainland (or from another island, which is at times like being from the mainland), you may find that you start having friends who do yoga, which means that you will end up doing yoga, even if you’ve never been much into yoga before. And the more that you hang out with people who do yoga, and the more that you end up shopping at Mana Foods or Down to Earth or Alive and Well or Whole Foods means that you’ll be rubbing elbows with other shoppers who do yoga… or somatics or body work or massage or qi gong or meditation. The point of all this, is that it’s very easy to hang out with people who are on a health quest even if it was your intent to eat potato chips and hot dogs and McDonald’s for the rest of your life.

Yoga at the Hotel Wailea... stretch, stretch, stretch. 

Now there are exceptions to this trend. 
For instance, some people have such large and extended families that they only associate with other people in their families or work in a family-run business, and if no one in that family does yoga or shops at the above stores, then chances are they are eating heavier foods and are not into health.  

Another exception is people who work two or more jobs and there are many people in that boat. They work so many hours each week that the last thing they are doing is getting enough sleep or eating healthy.  Locals are especially prone to working multiple jobs – because the cost of living is so high on Maui, and because they come from a work ethic of working all the time. We met a woman who works at Safeway full time and also works for the County of Maui full time and only gets 3 hours of sleep. I didn’t ask, but she probably also has children and a husband, and maybe supports other relatives. Overwork is all too common, and why some people in paradise have such bad moods. 

The last exception is people with such low incomes that they are struggling to survive and they are spending money on only the cheapest, least expensive food – that means high calorie, high carbohydrate and highly processed food. 

But if you’re not one of these exceptions (and there may be others), you may find that you develop friendships with some really healthy people – there are a lot of health-focused people on Maui, and by consequence, over several years, you may find yourself getting healthy despite yourself.  You may get healthy despite occasional vog and cane burning on the island. 

Where does this all lead?

Well, what may happen is that you end up doing a cleanse or detox program, which are very popular on Maui. Every other week, I meet someone who is doing a cleanse, about to start a cleanse, or has just finished a cleanse. Even my boss is doing a cleanse! Given enough time, the most resistant person will do a cleanse if he/she is surrounded by health advocates. Even DH has done a cleanse despite his best intentions to avoid one.

The general idea of a cleanse or detox program is that you let the body rest by eating more lightly and or doing a fast, without eating any solid food. It can be physically difficult because the body wants to eat and you may get tired or have headaches. The detox part usually involves detoxing from sugar, alcohol, junk food, processed food (not the same as junk food), wheat (which some people think is very unhealthy), dairy (often has growth hormones and antibiotics in it), caffeine, nicotine or pot. I tend to use detox and cleanse interchangeably, but detox implies removing toxins from the body, and cleanse implies cleaning out the body of buildup of excess fat and intestinal gunk.

Are there side effects? You bet! Headaches, fatigue, grumpiness, nausea… which usually pass and are followed by incredible energy and a feeling of lightness and calm. It’s hard to explain, but your body can feel really good, fully alive and absolutely fantastic, like you haven’t felt so good in years. It’s like a physical high without drugs and without a crash afterwards.  Oh, and it’s shocking how much intestinal gunk, aka poop, comes out. You can lose a lot of weight by just getting rid of excess poop clogged in your intestines. When DH cut out dairy, not completely but was about 99% dairy free, he lost 30 lbs. That weight and extra fat is still gone several years later even though he eats some dairy now. 

What kind of cleansing and detox programs are available on Maui?
Too many to mention, but here’s a few off the top of my head:

Grace Parusha’s Radiant Aliveness – This is a cleanse DH and I participated in a few years ago. Mostly fruits and veggies, raw or lightly cooked, some fasting and special broths. Plus several exercises to check in with one’s emotions and mental state. Oh, and how could I forget the enemas? You can learn how to do your own enemas.  The program was very effective, but rigorous. Grace continues to offer hourly health coaching. About 2-3 weeks long. 

Temple of Peace – A 10 day cleanse involving lots of liquids, some approved foods, with a series of colonics to move the stuff out of the body. I haven’t participated in this cleanse, but know the people who run it and I have had colonics there. Colonics are very helpful as part of a cleanse program.

Malik Cotter’s cleanse (Malik is a well known acupuncturist who owns Dragon’s Den, an herbal and Chinese medicine shop in Makawao - practically a Maui institution) – Haven’t personally participated in this cleanse either, but know people who are currently doing it or have done it in the past. Usually part of a class that runs a few weeks, two nights a week. Reviews have been favorable. I think colonics are also involved. Several weeks involved. 

Samana Wellness – A cleanse program involving ayurvedic principles in which all food is provided. 5 consecutive mornings of doing yoga and breathwork, classes, and then taking home food for the rest of the day. I haven’t done this program either, but know the person who runs it, and have heard positive reviews. Also, this cleanse doesn’t involve fasting – you can still eat solid food, like kitchadi, but it’s made according to ayurvedic principles.

Lumeria Glow – A healthy warm broth that you can order in advance to drink all day, offered by the Lumeria Retreat Center. The broth is intended to have enough nutrition that you don’t need to eat food, and can let the body rest. Usually people drink broth only for several days or a week. I haven’t done this program, but have had their signature broth and it is yummy, savory not sweet. Read more about my take on Lumeria Maui


Myra Lewin - Yoga and energy work teacher who also offers ayurvedic health guidelines and a detox program which can be done in a retreat setting or at home. Moved to Kauai from Maui, and one of her students now leads Samana Wellness. 

Maka’ala Yates – Of Hawaiian ancestry, Maka'ala offers a program based on Hawaiian medicine and health principles. 60 day cleansing program, of which one portion involves using special Hawaiian salt to do a morning flush drink along with a particular diet and regimen.

Master Cleanse – This is a famous cleanse that you can do yourself, and it’s not suitable for everyone because it involves a lot of discipline and a lot of fasting (many days without solid food). You can get the book and do it whenever you want to. The main liquid is a special lemon drink made with freshly squeezed lemon juice (not store bought lemon juice), purified water, cayenne and maple syrup. Sweet but with a kick. Many versions of this book are available. 

Dr. Schulze – The “poop doctor” cleanse – Again, another self help cleanse and the first one I've ever done. You don’t need to take a class or see anyone. Just order the kit and do it yourself. The basic version is the bowel cleanse and takes about 5 days. I’ve done the bowel detox, the liver detox and the kidney program. These were the first cleanses I have done and I didn’t notice any immediate results or energy but I still use some of the pills for quick mini-cleanses.  

Body Ecology – Offers cleansing, detoxing, supplements and health products based on the "Body Ecology Diet" of fostering healthy digestive flora in your system. Website emphasizes fermented (not fermented in a rotten way) foods like yogurt, coconut kefir, cultured vegetables.

NOT A CLEANSE, but related (changing your eating practices):

Chef Teton - A friend of mine on Maui. Doesn't offer cleanses or detoxing, but offers healthy recipes and classes and dvds to learn to prepare nutritious healthy food, including cultured veggies. I have taken one of her classes. If you need healthy, nutritious food, this is your gal. 

Maui Light Diet - Catherine Blake offers nutritious vegan cooking classes. I have her recipe book and like it, but avoid most of the wheat/seitan ("wheat meat") recipes in it. 

Phew! And that's only the tip of the iceberg... there are cleanses left and right all over the island, if you want better health. 

A related post about health on Maui is Food Matters in the Maui Jungalow.

OH! Wanted to share this too! This documentary just came out - Genetic Roulette... and it's important because Monsanto, the king of GMO, has a huge presence on Maui.  Yes, some people will disagree with the film, but it's thought-provoking and NOT boring... and to those who question the premise, well... follow the money. 

If this video doesn't show up well, go directly to youtube and plug in:

Or go to the closed captioned version of this film, so you can read along.

P.S., If you buy vitamins and supplements, a good mail order source is Health Designs, referral code 4176634. This is where I get massive quantities of things like Dr. Christopher's Blood Stream Purifier which I use a lot during sugar cane burning season and oregano oil capsules for immunity. (Disclaimer: I do get a small referral fee from this.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hanging out with the Maui Makers

Update 2014: The Maui Makers are back in their original space! Yay!

Update 6/10/13: The Maui Makers are looking for a new space! They have been booted out of their Pu'unene classroom and container, to make room for some special ed organization. They are looking for a new space. Please contact them if you know of ideas. 

To the left is the Maker Matson container, and to the right is the building  where meetings are currently held. One really positive thing about HC & S is they do allow nonprofits to have free space and utilities here. 

The Maui Makers studio doesn't look like much from outside, but this is where you'll find geniuses, or geniuses-in-training. If brain power were gunpowder and you lit a match, this room would ignite. Now there are other places that you'll find really smart people on Maui - like the Institute for Astronomy or a Maui Smug meeting, but this is a friendly place for mini smart people too. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Poha Berry Mini-Breakfast

These are poha berries in Hawaiian, but also known as cape gooseberries, or ground cherries.  I only had a few of them so mixed them with some organic yogurt, local raw honey, and granola for a mini breakfast snack.
They are pleasantly tart and not overly sweet.
Poha berries gathered from the bush, or sprawling poha berry plant. They are related to tomatillos and conveniently have these wonderful wrappers which protect them from bugs, like the ever present fruit fly!

A poha berry sliced in half to show the seeds. You can grow more poha berries from seed.

The poha plant growing from a pot on the deck. It's a sprawling plant.
Recently I replanted it and it has a ton more berries.  Just like other plants and trees, if you give it more fertile soil and a bigger pot 

(or a good place in the ground), it will produce more fruit. 
The poha berry is extremely easy to grow in Hawaii.

Where to buy poha berries?
On Maui, Mana Foods usually has a small shelf of them in the produce section. If you can't find them, just ask. Kula Hardware also has poha berry plants for sale. 
FYI, this blog is part of Maui Shop Girl's photo challenge for breakfast photos -  there may be some other cool local breakfasts there. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

One Love Farmer's Market in Paia

One Love Farmer's Market Sign on Baldwin Avenue as you come up from Paia towards Makawao, about a mile or two up from Paia,
at the old Paia Train Station.  This is before the La'akea Farm Stand.

According to their other site, open M-Sat 10 am to 6 pm, not Sundays. 

The old Paia Train Station - the Farmer's Market is to the left, not visible in the picture. The train station also has other  shops and a yoga studio. The former Rambutan, a very cool furnishings store used to be where the yoga studio currently is located. 

Lilikoi (passionfruit), pineapples, and unripe apple bananas.

Price list of local fruits. 

Garlic, napa cabbage, cucumbers, cabbage.
I'm not sure if all these items are local.

Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, onions, and ginger. Sweet potatoes, onions and ginger are probably local but local (russet or yukon etc.) potatoes are not that common at Maui markets. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Handmade Pasta in Makawao

Get your fresh pasta here!

Pasta sign right on Makawao Avenue coming from Kula.
I've recently spotted signs for handmade pasta along Makawao Avenue, often on Saturdays. So I stopped to check it out. 

Maui Pasta is very much a cottage industry, since right outside the house was another sign, a table, and a cooler with pasta inside. The pasta was $5 a bag and I didn't have exact change. No one was around, so I knocked on the door and gave a holler. 

I didn't see the sign originally because it was flipped over. 

Yum. But I didn't have exact change and no one was at the table.

Maui Pasta founder posing with sign. I think her name is Tammy but am not quite sure and the website is not finished yet! Tammy studied art and cooking in Italy and loves making pasta.
She is making pasta in a certified kitchen. 

The basil pasta that I brought home. Made two days ago, so I needed to make it tonight or freeze it.  Expect to see more Maui pasta at either the Swap Meet, the Kula Upcountry Farmer's Market, or in local stores soon. 

Swiss chard clam sauce basil pasta for dinner that night. The photo doesn't do it justice. The pasta was ono (delicious)! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

La'akea Farm Stand in Pa'ia

Farmer's markets and farm stands are all over Maui, sprouting up even in people's front yards in Kahului. Though to be honest, I've only seen one farm stand in someone's yard - I think it was somewhere off Wakea Avenue. 

Banners for La'akea Farm Stand
The La'akea Farm Stand is not on a well-traversed road, since it's on Baldwin Avenue about 3 miles up from the intersection of Hana Highway (in Pa'ia town). It's at least a mile further from the One Love  Farmer's Market at the old Pa'ia Train Station. I don't have the exact GPS coordinates to give you.  Just look for signs on the left side of Baldwin Avenue as you are heading uphill from Paia to Makawao. 

What makes La'akea's Farm Stand different from other farmers markets or farm stands?

  • It supports the La'akea Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit, which helps adults with special needs. 
Information on La'akea's mission. 

  • Another key difference with other stands is that there are coolers which hold leafy greens and vegetables that may otherwise wilt. 
Coolers with vegetables at La'akea Farm

  • There is a garden or farm at the stand, with veggie and fruits growing by the booth. 
Bananas and papaya trees growing at La'akea Community Farm. 

  • Lastly, this is an organic farm stand, and the produce is local. Some farm stands have some mainland or imported produce. You have to ask - and sometimes the vendors won't know for sure - like they will say, "Oh, we get that from Oahu." But that doesn't mean the produce is local. It could be shipped from the mainland, consolidated and distributed from Oahu. 
A short video of La'akea Community Farm Stand:

Items that can be found at La'akea include:
sweet potatoes, turmeric root, eggs, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, avocados, lilikoi (passionfruit), green beans, coconuts, tomatoes, pineapples, onions, Hawaiian salt, jicama, eggplant, and other produce in season.

Hours are Monday - Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Upcountry Fine Art Artist Swap and Sidewalk Sale

Pamela Neswald of Upcountry Fine Art always comes up with some creative ideas. This time, it was the Artist Swap and Sidewalk Sale, which was timed on the same day as her annual 40% store wide sale. On September 15th, artists occupied the covered parking area, an old plantation structure, next to her store. 

Artist Sidewalk Sale, rendered in a comic book filter.

Not just art. Tarot reading anyone?

The ingenious John Wilson with his Art of Trash creations. 

Digging through boxes.

Scene rendered in one of Photoshop's drawing filters. 

This scene rendered with the smudge stick filter I think.
Probably should have kept notes.
Pamela is all the way in the back. 

There were all sorts of intriguing things from storage rooms, studios, under the house, and other nooks and crannies. Some artists had booths or tables with original art only, others had art supplies for sale, and still others had a mishmash of original art, studio seconds, supplies, and some art books, but other totally random but interesting books. I got to meet some new faces and get reacquainted with other people.

The experience was like rummaging through an old but not musty attic or basement, looking at interesting finds, sort of like reading "The Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams," a book of imaginative whimsies like "a thimble to stitch with and a thimble to unstitch with" and a "robe spun from shooting stars with a Milky Way veil."  While I didn't really need anything, and actually ought to go through my own supplies and have a booth next time, I still ended up with a few brushes, a brand-new SD card, and some books.

One of the highlights was hearing Jack Hamilton's art advice when he was talking to artist Billy Welker, "When you buy a tube of this color or that color paint, you also need to buy a tube of courage. Because you need it in order to paint."  He had a very animated style of talking, which I wanted to record but the video camera died very unexpectedly. If you have a Flip Camera, you need to upload the videos out of it every day - you never know when it will go.  

The sale was so successful that people were clamoring for Pamela Neswald to host it again, and she is planning to in December, if someone steps up to the plate and helps coordinate the event. Also, she took about two weeks off after the sale, with the store open only for appointments or limited hours on Tuesday and Thursday.