Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aquaponics Farmer's Market in Haiku

New farmer's market sign across the street from Colleen's.
Market is located where the original Haiku Farmers Market started up back in September 2011, next to North Shore Cafe.  Hours seem to be in transition. (Yes, that's a good Haiku phrase.) I'm not sure when New Earth Aquaponics is open or even if they are still open. I stopped by in late January when I first saw the signs along Kokomo Road near the cannery and have not seen their signs much lately.

Update 2014: This Farmers Market has been defunct for months.

Aquaponics style greens, meaning they are grown in water, but not hydroponically. The plants are fed water that fish  have lived in, and the fish food is organic or whole-foods based, including coconut. Plants are grown in a ball of earthworm castings. Helpful bacteria is added to the system.  Aquaponics farmer Eddie insists that he does not add any chemical inputs. He also teaches aquaponics and sets up aquaponics systems. 
Baby romaine lettuce growing aquaponically.
Coconuts are also available to buy. 

Aquaponics farmer Eddie holding two heads of young lettuce.
He sells three heads of Romaine for $5. 

A demo cooler of the fish used in Eddie's aquaponics system.
Variety of fish is unknown. 

Other produce includes citrus, passionfruit , squash, and turmeric roots (orange roots on the bottom left). Eddie says he does accept other produce but has to know that it has been grown organically and that the farmer composts garden waste.

Basil and other herbs are growing aquaponically. 

The aquaponics set up is along the left side of Northshore Cafe in Haiku.
I hope to hear back from Eddie to find out more specifics about his hours and what inputs he adds to his aquaponics system. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Maliko Gulch Farmers Market

New farmers market at the bottom of Maliko Gulch, off of Hana Highway, just before Haiku. A Hawaiian sovereignty group appears to be organizing this particular market, since there are also Kingdom of Hawaii signs.  
These signs are fairly recent, within the last few months.  
Sometimes there is a huli huli chicken stand here as well. 

Maliko Gulch Farmers Market, originally open Saturdays 10 -3. 

Update January 2014: This Farmers Market is not really active. There may be some booths with coconuts to buy (they will crack them open for you and give you a straw to drink) or huli huli chicken, but it's no longer a real market due to issues with parking. The county of Maui apparently did not like the potential for traffic problems due to people pulling off the side of the road to park so close to a major and fast moving highway.

Update 3/26/13: The market is planning to be open on Mondays instead!
Looks like the number to call is 808-419-1570 for more info.

Oranges, herbs, avocados are among the offerings here. 

Maui honey is available, so is mamaki tea, big bags of kale,
and other greens.
(Sorry, these pictures are not the best... I was in a rush.) 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

After the rains and flash floods

After the rains, the muddy ocean at Ho'okipa on Saturday.

Upcountry Maui experienced a spate of intense rainfall a few days ago. Thursday and Friday were particularly bad, with flash flood warnings for areas including Pukalani, Makawao, Pauwela (Haiku). Pukalani usually doesn’t get that much rainfall compared to Haiku, so when it’s pouring in Pukalani, it’s pretty bad. Friends who live near dry stream beds were next to rushing waters.

There was some damage. Maliko Gulch got flooded. A cottage and shed on Bob Flint’s property at the top of Maliko Gulch (inland a few miles, towards Makawao) got washed away. The Sacred Garden at Maliko lost the outdoor Chartres style labyrinth and clean up efforts are underway. Also, the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project lost housing for its interns.* Donations and help are welcome by all the nonprofits.

Muddy closer to shore, blue farther out. 

On Saturday, the ocean water near Ho’okipa and Mama’s Fish House was brown and muddy, from all the flood water coming from Maliko Gulch and elsewhere.  Only farther from shore was the water actually blue. One person remarked it was like chocolate water, but it didn’t deter the windsurfers.  

Muddy parking lot at Ho'okipa

*Info courtesy of @mauiplantgirl, @cpstout, and @swianecki on Twitter.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Maui Open Studios: Tiny Ceramic Lids by Kevin Omuro

What intrigued me about this ceramic piece is that it had such 
a tiny lid and opening. 

At the Maui Open Studios Weekend One, Artist Kevin Omuro explained the technique to make this very small opening and lid. I think he said this technique was from the Yixing masters who made traditionally small teapots. The Yixing teapots were made with slightly porous clay, and it was important to wash them without soap, or it would affect the taste of the tea.

o       Create a closed, hollow form.
o       Place a slab of clay on top, then cut out a small opening through the top layer of clay – this will become the top or the lid. 
o       Then cut a second, even smaller opening underneath the first opening. The smaller, lower opening provides a support for the lid to rest on.

Kevin showing the lid of the ceramic vessel.
It's very small with a little knob on top. 

Kevin makes other very organic forms with clay, like sculptures that are hollow and hold "stones." They remind me of upright, but flowing pea pods.

Two years ago, the Hui No'eau Arts Center in Makawao held a joint exhibition for Kevin Omuro and painter Sidney Yee. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Love Rocks at the Beach

A few love related photos from Makena State Park, the hippie side of the beachThis post is linked up with Maui Shop Girl's Take a Picture: Love photo challenge

Be Love 2013 coral rock at Makena. 
Found off the beaten path to the far side of the beach. 

On Valentine’s Day at the beach, there was a young woman painting red hearts on people. I almost asked to take pictures, but felt too shy that day. There was also a whale breaching out of the water several times, but he or she wouldn’t hold still for me to take a picture. 

LOVE spelled in coral rock letters.

A sand altar made with natural coral hearts.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Farewell Maui Bake Shop

The Maui Bake Shop was a Wailuku institution, a spot of French blue and white striped brightness in the "urban scape" of Wailuku. Although Wailuku is not exactly urban, as the seat of government for Maui County, it has a certain presence and dignity amid historical layers of paint. 

I have to briefly commemorate the Bake Shop because it closed as of last December, after owner Jose Krall died in a plane crash. A French trained pastry chef, he made lovely tarts and sweets like the one below. 

Alas, fruit tarts no more... 

There are hardly any French pastry shops on Maui, so it's a bit sad to lose the Maui Bake Shop. I am still nostalgic for Cafe Marc Aurel, a bohemian coffee shop that also offered many varieties of wine and cheese but was closed after the Immigration and Naturalization Service deported Marc a few years ago. 

Farewell, Maui Bake Shop. I wish I had eaten more dessert there.  I guess I'll have to spend more time at Moana Bakery and La Provence. Jose, wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying la douceur de vivre.

Tarts and pastries in the window.
Scones and croissants and muffins.

That familiar old sign for the Maui Bake Shop. 

A friendly menu outside. 
Not just sweets but also sandwiches. 

Breads and rolls. 

Crab and rabbit shaped breads. 

More truffles and tarts. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Maui Open Studios: Erica Franz of the Painted Seahorse

Imagination sign hanging above Erica Franz's design studio,
Painted Seahorse
Erica's illustrations using India Ink and wax pencil on clayboard.
Per Erica, there is no need for glass frames.
In the background, there is a creative screen made
with recycled tennis rackets. 

Backyard of Erica Franz's studio.
Painted blue pots, rocking horse, stars and window frames.
This turned out to be a very fun studio visit, with the studio art presented in a beautiful and cheerful space, both indoors and outdoors.

Whimsical fabric mermaid on a chair, 
a gift from a friend to inspire Erica's creativity. 

Erica posing with her paintings and sculpture.  I asked Erica what her day looks like, and she said that when she gets into an intensive creative spurt, she can start at 6 am and work all day to 6 pm, and not realize that much time has elapsed! This can even go on for a few weeks! But she sometimes takes a month off. Besides illustrations, Erica also does graphic design, including invitations, wedding announcements, posters, and ads. She also paints murals and is excited about
making fabric with her designs and other projects. 

Side entrance to Erica's Painted Seahorse studio in Makawao.

Embellished mannequins with antlers, tennis racket screen, clothespins above. An inspiring studio space for a talented artist. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Maui Open Studios: Michael and Karen O'Reilly

Karen O'Reilly's art (vertical piece) featured at the O'Reilly Open Studio event, part of Maui Open Studios weekend one,
which began last weekend in Upcountry Maui.
Karen uses a technique called cold casting,
using metal powder and resin to create durable,
weather resistant pieces. It's also a way to create larger sculptures using a casting process that doesn't require molten metal. There are no public bronze foundries on Maui. Karen is also a talented hair stylist.
Michael O'Reilly's art. The wood in the goblets, bowl, vase, and oil lamps are shaped on a lathe, then finished with a marine grade protectant and then a high gloss polyurethane or urethane. Michael says one can even hand wash the wood pieces with soap and water. The water doesn't harm the finish at all. They are extremely shiny with a smooth glass like surface. The table has a copper cross inlay, which has been chased or repoussed and hammered for different textures. The table has then been sealed with the marine grade finish and a high gloss protectant. 

Portrait in relief, another cold-casted sculpture by Karen O'Reilly. Karen and Michael also work together creating wooden purses. 

Detail of Michael O'Reilly's copper cross table. Since it's sealed in the table, the copper does not tarnish. It really glows. 

Michael posing with a shaka sign next to his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The devil guitar player decal on the side is one of Michael's designs, painted on glass with special paints, lifted and then applied and sealed. The seat is made of leather over a shovel head. Pretty creative reuse of materials. Michael says it's very comfortable and has also made a second seat for his wife using the same technique. Michael does both wood working
and custom automotive painting. Karen and Michael have some varied interests, ranging from metal work, auto painting, wood work, purse making, hair cutting and styling, and sculptures.

The other great thing I learned from Michael is the term "transmedia artist" - for any artist who works in more than one media and likes to explore. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kupu Maui - Alfresco Dining at Kupa'a Farms

Alfresco dining on Maui. What could be better?  

A beautiful landscape, locally grown food lovingly prepared, friendly people to meet. 

These are hallmarks of a Kupu Maui pop up dinner. 

Meeting and greeting at a Kupu Maui dinner.

Like a sand mandala that is labored over for hours, and then brushed away, Kupu Maui is a transcendent, fleeting experience. It will not last, and it will not be repeated. 

Each outdoor dinner is unique, featuring an artisan menu just for that occasion.

Kupu Maui staff hard at work behind the scenes.
Home grown bounty including Kupa'a Farms house coffee.

At the October pop up dinner at Kupa’a Farms, I felt like I had stepped into one of those glossy magazine layouts showcasing a special dinner party or food event, a la Martha Stewart or O Magazine. 

There was a long table, decked in a white table cloth, along a tall bamboo hedge. It was a very picturesque setting. 

I could imagine a future magazine write-up about the gathering and the history behind it, then pages full of sumptuous food photos, and people laughing, and another page for recipes to try at home. 

Roasted vegetables and quinoa on a bamboo leaf plate.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if some magazine did showcase Kupu Maui, along with a page full of recipes. Kupu Maui dinners keep evolving! By the way, if anyone wants a Kupu Maui recipe, just ask. 

After parking, we were greeted by the staff of Kupu Maui, then gathered to walk down a dusty road to the coffee bean orchard for the farm tour.

Marilyn Jansen Lopez of Maui Country Farm Tours
 at the start of the Kupa'a Farms tour. 
Gerry Ross shared his knowledge of coffee growing and talked about nitrogen fixing trees, like glyricidia, the importance of mulching to keep the dust levels down, tips on dealing with fruit eating birds, and showed off his chicken tractor, a PVC pipe and bird netting enclosure that’s movable. 

The PVC pipe and bird netting chicken tractor at Kupa'a Farms.

The chickens can scratch the dirt, pick out bugs, and fertilize the soil. He also talked about his dragon fruit or pitaya plants

Managed by Gerry and his wife Janet Simpson, Kupa’a Farms has diversified agriculture, including garden veggies and fruit trees. 

Young dragon fruit, related to the night blooming cereus.
I was fascinated with the farm tour, since Gerry had spoken the previous month about managing weeds organically at the Maui Farmers Union meeting. So I took a lot of video, mostly of the farm tour.

All of the food was provided by the farm or locally, except for the flour, quinoa, oil, pepper and Beekman's Cajeta Goat Milk Caramel. More on that later.  

After having pizza baked on site by Pierre and Annabelle and Kupa’a Farms own coffee, we sat down at the table. It was open seating.

Pierre prepping a pizza to bake in his outdoor portable oven. 

Dining waste was minimized. 
Instead of ceramic or paper plates, we were greeted by a wide piece of bamboo sheath, like a wide leaf. It was a natural disposable plate that could be put in the compost pile. The cup was made of corn fibers and was also compostable.  People brought their own beer or wine.  Even the dessert was served in the skin or shell of the lilikoi (passionfruit).

We enjoyed using the assorted spreads and jarred items with both the French bread and the lamb. A big hit was a dab of Cajeta Goat Milk Caramel alongside the lamb.

I was curious as to whether the food was cooked on site, but realized there was too much work involved for that. The lamb was a labor intensive process. 

After first writing this post, I found out that the lamb was born and raised in Waihe'e, slaughtered at Decoite, the only federally approved slaughter house in Maui County. Then the lamb was allowed to cure in the kitchen of Merriman's Kapalua under daily supervision. The lamb needed to rest for several weeks before being cooked by a Kupu Maui chef at Maui Executive Catering. Then just before dinner, the lamb was gently reheated - and then was quickly devoured.

Lamb, served as "steaks" or as patties.
The dessert was made ahead of time, and chilled. The quinoa and vegetables were also prepared by Dania Katz at an offsite, commercial kitchen.

The three word inspiration for that month's Kupu Maui menu:

  1. Kohana - Naked, bare. The food will be seasoned lightly, not overly dressed. Simple. Clean and exposed.
  2. Pono - Do the right thing. Think about giving back. Supporting this farm and all that it takes to feed a community.
  3. Akepa - Take only what you need, leave the rest. Then use it all. No waste.
Chilled, lilikoi cream dessert served in the shell. 

The menu:
  • Pizza – prosciutto, cheese and basil - by Pierre and Annabelle of Pulehu Pizza
  • Green salads & Roasted vegetable quinoa by Kupu Maui
  • There were two types of salads. One was both sweet and savory, with pomegranate seeds and unexpected bits of cheese.
  • French Bread & Naked Cow Dairy butter
  • Assortment of mustards, mint jelly and preserved items by Maui Preserved and others
  • Dessert cookies

Shortbread style dessert cookies being served on a ti leaf.
(a Hawaiian plant not for tea drinking)

Were there any downsides to Kupu Maui?

  • Well, as a former vegetarian, I didn't notice a vegetarian entree. However there was plenty of salad, bread, quinoa and roasted vegetables.  The lamb steaks or loins went away pretty quickly, but there were still lamb patties, and we kind of prodded Marilyn’s husband into eating the last bit of lamb at our end of the table. I've now found out that Kupu Maui does offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.  I didn't see alternative options mentioned on the website back in October, but they are happy to accommodate. Just ask. 
  • Also, it’s a deliberately social event. An exceptionally shy person might be overwhelmed by meeting new people or asking for more bread. Our section of the tabled inhaled the French bread and we kept needing more.

Delectable prosciutto, basil and cheese pizza

  • The dinner was not inexpensive but I think for the uniqueness of the experience, that $65 per person was reasonable (and included a farm tour). For me, it was a bit of a splurge.  DH needed more convincing, but he can’t help it, he’s just naturally pake (cheap). The price of a Kupu Maui ticket can range from $45- $60 or more depending on the cost of the ingredients and labor involved.
  • Lastly, it’s not a quick one or two hour dinner. It involves a good portion of the day trekking to the location, if it’s not nearby, going on a tour of the property, and then sitting down to a French style dinner, with plenty of time between each course. Our gathering started at 3 pm and we ate at 4 pm or 4:30 pm while there was still plenty of daylight. I had to tie up my husband and drag him away from his motorcycle project. He really enjoyed the lamb.

Farm fresh feast at Kupa'a Farms in Kula. 
Since I'm always fascinated by who shows up at various events on island, I noticed that most of the people I talked to were Maui residents but not what I consider "locals," meaning born and raised here. It may vary with different Kupu Maui dinners. But the October pop up dinner had a different mix of people than say, at a Hale Nanea event

The art of Kupu Maui encourages us to eat, share and honor locally grown food. Since first starting in April 2012, their outdoor pop up dinners continue to be held once a month, except for November and December, at a surprise location. Tickets sell out fast! Check the Kupu Maui twitter feed to find out the location around the 6th or 7th of each month.