O’o Farm Tour, Maui
When you go to Maui, because I know you will after this, I highly recommend a tour of O’o Farm. If you enjoy a) gardening, b) beautiful scenery, c) learning about food, d) eating food, or e) chocolate ganache, I’d go so far as to call this tour a, “must.”
For $50, I got to try fresh coffee berries, finish an entire lemon pepper, “I spy” a chameleon, interview for my AP Language paper on genetically modified food, enjoy a gourmet lunch, AND snag an internship offer at a popular Maui restaurant!
My parents and I arrived at O’o Farm at 10 o’ clock, meeting a group of about twenty. Among the crowd was an eager chef, some business people from a travel company, and lots of curious note takers. We were quickly informed that O’o Farm supplies a handful of Maui restaurants with fresh, local produce. Because the farm is only 40 minutes away from the restaurants, (not hours, in the case of imported California producers) the lucky Maui eateries can boast the healthiest, most delicious food. According to our chef, if all of the boats to Maui stopped arriving, the island could only supply itself with enough produce to last two weeks. That is a problem.
Though small-scale, O’o Farm is a step in the right direction. For a fertile island like Maui to depend so heavily on the mainland is a travesty. Thankfully brains behind O’o Farm realize the truth. If more farms on Maui could supply their restaurants with the commodities in demand, the island as a whole could same time, money, energy, and resources.
So, after listening to these energized people talk about food for a couple of hours, I was read to eat something. :) While walking through the gardens and identifying the growing plants, we also picked vegetables for the group’s salad and appetizer tray.
Lunch was focused around healthy food, which was just fine with me. Besides the fresh vegetables, we had homemade bread with olive oil, seared tofu with Maui onions and beets, and an Asian-style steamed fish with snow peas and carrots. The crowd favorite was easily . . . drum roll . . . the tofu! Chef Sean Christensen cooked the tofu until is was nicely browned and then used enough olive oil to make a tasty, supple sauce – delicious. I definitely had seconds (and a couple of chocolate ganache stars).
Surprises just kept coming for my family. Much to Mom’s delight, O’o Farm has a small coffee-house where the growers roast their own beans on site. Dad morphed into a little boy when he discovered that he could crack open his own macadamia nuts and sample the specimens that gathered himself.
Dad is sort of a penny pincher, but let’s be honest; this was totally worth $50. Our family lingered to help with the clean-up and thank the chef one last time. From start to finish, we stayed at O’o Farm for about four hours, which was clearly not long enough. I want to go back.