Are you a gastronomy enthusiast with a penchant for sustainable food production? Or someone who simply appreciates good food and enjoys a good behind-the-scenes tour? Either way, Lā Kāhea Farm’s Taste of Hawaii Tour offers visitors an immersive tasting experience at a modern day produce farm on Maui.
From the hands-on demonstration of sugar cane juicing to fruit tasting in the field, La Kahea Farm offers an authentic and educational look into the agricultural methods of a small sustainable farm.
Disclaimer: Lā Kāhea Farm reached out and offered us a complimentary tour of their farm. We opted for a group tour so we would have the same experience a paid guest would. As always, all opinions are our own.
WHAT WE ENJOYED
- An authentic look at modern day farming on Maui
- Hands on sugar cane juicing experience — it was delicious
- The welcoming and community-minded environment. The tasting session had the feel of a small social gathering as the tour guests chatted and got to know one another
GOOD TO KNOW
- This is a working farm, so expect to get some dirt on your shoes while touring the grounds
- Finding the farm can be tricky, so follow the directions carefully (you’ll receive detailed instructions by email)
- Be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and water
- For those with mobility challenges: While there are no steps or hills to climb, there are also no paved walkways. The ground can be uneven and covered with compostable materials such as leaves, wood chips, and cardboard. Contact Lā Kāhea Farm if you have specific concerns about accessibility
About Lā Kāhea Farm
Nestled in the heart of Central Maui’s Waikapu lies Lā Kāhea Community Farm, one of a dozen individually managed farms on a 300-acre conservation easement.
What sets Lā Kāhea apart is the 10-acre farm’s dedication to cultivating diverse and sustainable food production. In this space, the land yields a rich variety of crops, ranging from bananas to ti leaf plants to taro.
The farm’s philosophy breaks away from modern conventional farming practices that rely on monoculture farming and chemicals that drain the soil of nutrients rather than enrich it. Instead, Lā Kāhea Farm embraces a regenerative approach that works in harmony with the land.
More than a space for growing food, Lā Kāhea Farm also serves as a hub for those seeking a deeper connection to the land and a sense of community. Through guided food-tasting tours, visitors experience firsthand the fruits of regenerative farming while immersing themselves in the ethos of a farm that thrives on collaboration and sustainability.
And the farm isn’t just a tourist experience — it’s a testament to the potential for positive change in agricultural practices. The green oasis invites all to savor the result of a community-driven, earth-conscious approach to farming on Maui.
Interested in a different type of farm tour? Read 17 Irresistible Maui Farm Tours — From Local Crops to Cute Critters
Guided Lā Kāhea Farm tour and tasting highlights
The 90-minute Taste of Hawaii Farm Tour at Lā Kāhea Farm is broken up into two main parts: a tasting session and a guided walk of the fields. At the end of the tour, the group returns to the tasting area for another delightful treat.
Intro to regenerative farming on Maui and produce tasting
Our tour guide for the day was Winsome, the co-owner of Lā Kāhea Farm. My first impression was that she’s aptly named. Along with her passion for the land, she radiates welcome and warmth.
The tour itself accommodates around a dozen people, and Winsome asked us each to introduce ourselves to the group. As an introvert, I felt a familiar flash of anxiety at the thought of speaking in front of even a few strangers. But the energy in the room felt so relaxed, my initial uneasiness passed quickly.
The standout difference between Lā Kāhea’s farm tour and other tours I’ve taken on Maui is just that — the genial interaction between the tour guests. During our Lā Kāhea tour, we tour guests chatted with each other in a social, comfortable manner throughout the tasting presentation.
In this first part of the tasting tour, we relaxed on picnic tables under the shade of the building while Winsome introduced us to the history of farming on Maui (primarily the large commercial sugar and pineapple farms of the past). Then she segued into the rewards and challenges that Maui’s modern day farmers experience.
During this portion, we also tasted a number of treats grown on the island: sugar cane, hibiscus, apple bananas, and caviar lime.
Later, Winsome invited us to participate in juicing sugar cane for a cold, refreshing beverage before we embarked on the walking tour around the farm. The fresh sugar cane wasn’t too sweet, surprisingly. In fact, it was my favorite tasting of the entire tour.
Guided Lā Kāhea Farm walkabout and tour
After our tasting session, we embarked on foot to the nearby fields. Winsome introduced us to a wide range of plants growing on the property. She also pointed out the cardboard and leaf compost we walked on that they use as weed suppression (as an alternative to plastic).
At one point, we discussed the use of compost as a core regenerative farming method. Our guide directed us to the neighboring compost farmer she collaborates with. We met (through the fenceline) a few resident pigs and goats as she fed them produce scraps.
As we continued the tour, Winsome harvested a bunch of bananas (technically called a “hand” of bananas), and we had an opportunity for another tasting while standing in the field.
Our tour weaved around the farm foliage and eventually made it back to the tasting area where we started. That’s when Winsome treated us to a final, delightful tasting — a delicious fresh frozen banana dessert.
What to know before you take a tour
- Allow for plenty of time to get there. The farm entrance can be tricky to find. Other people in our group missed the turnoff.
- Wear appropriate shoes. I recommend closed-toe shoes for this tour. This is a working farm. The ground, while mostly flat, can be uneven and you’ll be walking over leaves, dirt, cardboard, and other ground cover materials.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen (or long sleeves and pants). While you’ll be under cover during the tasting session, there is little to no shade during the farm tour itself.
The Taste of Hawaii tour at Lā Kāhea Farm offers more than a feast for the taste buds. Our experience at La Kahea Farm’s tasting tour was a delightfully authentic and relaxed exploration of a working farm on Maui.
We recommend this warm and inviting experience for anyone eager to learn firsthand about fresh, local produce and sustainable farming on Maui — and to gain a deeper appreciation for the relationship between Maui’s people and the land.