Two weeks left to visit Kula Lavender Farm for treats, soaps, flowers

Upcountry farm to close Oct. 1 until further notice

The Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm at the 4,000 foot elevation on the slopes of Haleakala will be closing its doors Oct. 1 until further notice. The lack of tourism and visitors took its toll on the attraction that includes gardens of lavender, native Hawaiian plants and citrus trees. The Maui News / TERRIE ELIKER photo

A walk through lavender, colorful flowers and greenery with ocean and mountain view backdrops; lavender scones; and cool temperatures are what visitors to the quaint Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, which will be closing Oct. 1., will miss most.

Like many businesses on the island, the farm announced Thursday that it will be shutting down until further notice amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For the remaining weeks, farm’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday. The destination popular with visitors and some locals will continue to keep its online store open and filled with products that support local vendors and artisans.

“I have so many fun memories from the farm that it’s hard to pick one. But, I think one of my favorites would be the time some friends and I were up there and a thick layer of fog came over the farm,” Pukalani resident Daeja Vinoray said Thursday. “We sat in the middle of the lavender patches, and it was cool because all we could see was each other, the lavender and a little haze of clouds.

“So it felt like we were in our own little world.”

Vinoray said that she first learned of the news Wednesday via social media that the lavender farm was planning to shutter its doors. Although saddened by the announcement, she wasn’t shocked.

The 13.5 acre Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm has 55,00 lavender plants on the property. It opened to the public in 2002. Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm photo

“I feel like it wasn’t that surprising because they, like most places on the island, thrive off of tourist visitation,” Vinoray said Thursday. “Every time I have gone, I saw little to no other local people walking around the farm.”

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm has been an Upcountry attraction since opening to the public in 2002, allowing visitors and residents to take in its lavender fields, citrus grove, flower gardens and Native Hawaiian plants that fill the 13.5-acre farm, according to the news release.

The farm, which sits at the 4,000 foot elevation on Haleakala and is home to about 20 types of and 55,000 lavender plants, was created by agriculturalist Ali’i Chang in 2001 after being gifted the property. Olive trees, hydrangea, protea, succulents and other plants also grow on the lot on Waipoli Road in Kula.

In March, the lavender farm closed to the public due to COVID-19 health and safety orders imposed by the state but continued to offer online shopping and curbside pick up for essential items, such as lavender hand soaps and household cleaners that have been in high demand.

In July, the farm opened again with safety modifications in place and limited hours. Although the drop in tourism has “greatly impacted the farm,” the operators said they have appreciated the support of the local community, who visited the gardens, the gift shop and online store.

Vinoray’s most recent visit was in December, but said she might go one last time before the farm closes indefinitely.

“I was just talking to my mom about it, and we were thinking about going this weekend or next weekend to get some scones and lemonade to bring home.”

Officials with the lavender farm could not be reached for comment Thursday.

For more information, visit www.aliikulalavender.com, email info@aliikulalavenderfarm.com or call 878-3004.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.


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