Today a friend humored me and rode along to a nursery in Upcountry. The town of Kula is about halfway up the Haleakala Crater Mountain. Haleakalā National Park is an International Biosphere Reserve that supports native ecosystems in a maturing volcanic landscape. It is like a different planet up there! It's a heck of a trip to get there and I've only done it once. It's desolate and and a long windy road to get there. Hiking enthusiasts just love the crater ... cabins are available so hikers can spend the night ... but you have to plan six months ahead of time. I've heard it is other wordly.
Mr. Ralph loved upcountry. It's about 3,000 ft altitude so it's a look cooler. In fact he wanted to buy a home there. We looked at several. It's a 45 minute drive to the ocean. I asked him why he wanted to move to Maui. He responded with he wanted sunshine, warmth and the ocean. Well ... Kula is overcast and colder ... in fact they have heaters and fireplaces! I knew he wouldn't want to drive to the beach on a moment's notice so he came back to reality! Thank goodness!
First we popped into to a little farmer's market and bought some vegan cheese, some plants and some 100% fish fertilizer. We tasted almost everything available ... it was 15 minutes til they closed so we enjoyed the give aways.
Next stop was a little diner that has been in a family for four generations, Grandma's Coffee Shop. Good food and just a couple of miles from Oprah's Maui home (well, one of them) She has about 1,000 acres here in Kula. And yes, I've seen her in person!
Anthony Bourdain visited the coffee shop last summer. Lisa and I were all set to share vegetarian lasagna and salad but when it was our turn to order ... they were erasing that special. Soooo ... we changed to meatloaf with rice and gravy and mac salad (macaroni salad is always added to lunch plates over here!).
Lisa got a homemade cookie and let me have a piece while we drove to the nursery. Where I bought some parsley, sage, rosemary, basil, cilantro, spearmint and one tomato plant.
What a great day!