Just below the slopes of the Haleakala crater, you’ll find Ali’i Kula Lavender farm (AKL) named for farmer and visionary Ali’i Chang. The beautiful gardens spread over 10.5 acres with over 55,000 lavender plants of over 40 different varieties, as well as olive trees, hydrangea, and protea blooms. Until just about a month before our visit, you’d find Chang nurturing the farm with attention and charm with his home right in the middle of the property. We were told, sadly, that Chang had recently passed away, but has passed on the gorgeous grounds to his family.
The grounds are immaculate and as we strolled through with our tour guide, you could feel the “Aloha” Ali’i wanted to express. The views are spectacular of the northwest side of Maui, the air is calming and smells beautiful, and the farm evokes serenity. Walking tours are offered daily, there is a gallery gift shop that sells all the goods they make, and while we were there, saw a group that came for a “ladies day out.”
Weddings are planned at the location, and something new for the farm is the “Pick your own Lavender” tours offered most weekends through the summer. These 40-minute tours give you a history of lavender talk with a host, learning about it’s benefits, time to pick lavender and beverage and scones, both food and drink made with farm lavender! Also throughout the summer, tea parties, lavender wreath making and family gatherings are available.
On our tour, our lovely guide Christina shared how she had previously purchased AKL body butter for her job as a masseuse and made her way to the farm looking for a job. Now as tour guide, they are in talks of adding a spa-like portion to the farm to appeal to more clients and using their land-made ingredients. It was a “follow your dreams and passions” story that made the appeal of the history of this farm more genuine.
From lavender tea, to gourmet seasonings, to strawberry lavender syrup, to clothing, and pet shampoo and conditioner, the gift shop is a must-see on the property. All food goods include lavender and I tried a combination of the lavender salad dressing and the syrup and bought both to bring home for a strawberry-lavender vinagrette, the syrup alone is good on pastry, waffles, and pancakes. The scents alone of anything lavender are soothing and the benefits of the plant are numerous:
-relaxes, calms, comforts
-eases tension, stress, pain, and inflammation
-repels mosquitos and other insects
-acts as a natural antiseptic and disinfectant
-relieves headaches and congestion
-heals cuts, scrapes, burns, bites, and stings
-reduces symptoms from PMS, anxiety, vertigo, and insomnia
-moisturizes and heals the skin
AKL promotes agri-tourism with the products they make using natural, botanical, and organic ingredients. They are proud to farm, teach, and support agriculture and well being through their philosophies, lavender products, and services. If you are on the island of Maui, head over and take a tour. This is something we wouldn’t have thought of venturing to, had it not been in our itinerary. But, the overall experience was so amazing, I’m so glad we had the chance. The climate is cooler and different from other parts of the island and it’ll be a place you won’t forget!