A Passion for Maui and making every day a work of art

Hawaii flowers

My Orchids Today

Surprise surprise

I come home to find many orchids…


Catalayas, phaleonopsis and dendrobium all in bloom…

808 283-9131

Marilyn Jansen Lopes


Big Pink Triple Hibiscus

This ruffly beautiful hibiscus is just one of the beautiful sights I saw today on my walk through my Up-Country Maui neighborhood. Walking two miles along the slopes of Haleakala feels fabulous.

Maui Agricultural Festival 2010

The Annual Maui County Agricultural Festival on April 3, 2010 was a fabulous event that drew large crowds to all the festivities. They chose The Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu for the location this year. With the West Maui Mountains as a backdrop, the big tents were set up to hold the livestock, the farmers and gardeners, the food booths, and information type educational contributors. There was also an area to have people register to keep track of all the people from the plantation days. I’m sure this will be very important to the history of Maui and future get togethers to reminisce about the good ole days of Maui.  
My first encounter upon arrival was with the Texas Long Horn mama here. She was very vocal and had a baby there too. As I was photographing her she came towards me with those huge horns and I had to jump back. It was pretty exciting and good fun. Any mama would do that.
Look at this adorable baby!
These animals were brought from the Makani Olu Ranch, also in Waikapu.
They offer ranch rides and sunset BBQ rides.
The mule was very tall and an amazing creature.
There were several coffee growers including Keokea Farms Ann Ashley pictured here. Their Coffee is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. In otherwords Organically! 100% Kula Coffee.
The famous Maui Kula Onion Growers first cultivated the Maui Kula Onion in 1930. They are grown on the Western slopes of Haleakala at elevations ranging from 1200 to 4,000 feet. The rich volcanic soil and perfect climate conditions produce one of the world’s sweetest tastiest onions. For information on the list of Maui Kula Onion growers contact mauioniongrowers@yahoo.com or write to P.O. Box 148 Kula,Hawaii 96790
Hana Fresh was here selling their fresh organic herbs, salad greens and even white carrots which I had never seen. They are open 7 days a week now in Hana in front of Hana Health in Hana, Maui. Stop by for Coffee, Organic veggies, heirloom tomatoes, macadamia nuts, excellent granola and dried fruit mixes along with gift items.
This is Teri Edmonds of If The Shoe Fits and Deidre Tegarden.
They are promoting the County of Maui’s “Got Choice…Think Local” campaign.
For more info contact the Office of Economic Development.
Phone: 808 270-7710
Fax: 808 270-7995
 Beautiful basket of eggs from The Neighborhood Farm in Lahaina.
Patricia Dodd, Owner of Patticakes Bakery
 Alii Kula Lavendar is an amazing example of passion for growing lavender and developing a line of products combined with marketing genious to create a successful agricultural business on Maui. Many people can learn from them.

  It was a fabulous day and in a short amount of time I briefly interviewed each person I photographed then rushed on to see a gorgeous Hula show and Hawaiian music set the mood for the big crowd. I smelled steaks grilling in the air by the Maui Cattle Association. The bloggers for the Maui Visitors Bureau at http://www.visitmaui.com/ elaborated on the Chefs contibutions to the Ag festival.
I briefly stopped by to see Dania Katz at The  Edible Hawaiian Islands magazine table to take these photos and glance through some of the gorgeous back issues.
I didn’t want to leave but had to get back Up~Country so here are some parting shots. There was much more but I hope you’ll visit yourself next year.
Thanks for stopping by to read all about the Maui County Agricultural Festival 2010.
Aloha friends,
All photos are by Marilyn Jansen Lopes and photos of others are posted with their permission.I have received no compensation to mention products or companies on my blog.

A visit to Lahaina, Maui

    On Sunday, we decided to take our first trip to Lahaina in over one year.
We live up-country on Maui and rarely travel out of our five mile radius, except on weekends to get to the beach in Kihei or Wailea. I also love the pond (Baby Beach) on our North Shore.
  The reason for our journey was to see a friend who is moving to the mainland. I decided to photograph from the moving vehicle as we proceeded down the mountain.
As you can see it is a pretty rugged landscape as we approach Lahaina. 
I love to see the terrain change on the dry side of our islands.

As we get closer to Olowalu market I remember how I would always stop for a manapua, and can of iced Hawaiian coffee and a cone sushi here.
  We reach Lahaina and park at the end of town so we can walk under the Banyan tree to see all the artists presenting their work.
  I see my friend Veena who loves to buy my hand-painted shirts, selling her beautiful glass jewelry. We take a few photos then she whisks me off to meet her friends of The Lahaina Art Society. She insists that I should join. I can’t sell T-shirts, but I can sell paintings. So, I thank her and consider this for the future. Then it’s off to my friend Joanna’s to see her beautiful place before she moves off to the mainland.
   Let’s talk about plants. I’m not going to name them here but as you can see this property that Joanna’s step dad had built and maintained for the last ten years along with Joanna, her mother Rosina and a full time female gardener who tends the plants 5 day a week for 6 hours a day, is a work of art.   
 Each Pole cottage is open to the air and they are all connected via a series of pathways which are tiled creatively. Focal points of gardens with sculptures, or benches, bricks and stones line each little plant garden.
A real Italian Fountain.
Asian Beauty.
A touch of Tao.
A fish fountain.
Foxtail fern.
Joanna gave me some gardenias that were in her vase. She said “These are for you.”
Thanks for a lovely day.
I realized what a short distance it is to Lahaina.
And a beautiful drive home!
Thanks, Joanna for being my friend!
   Joanna has been coming to Ben Franklin Crafts to paint on tees in the watercolor style for over three years with me. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know Joanna and her 85 year old mother Rosina who loves to paint on tees too! I will miss her.
If you’d like to come paint with me at Ben Franklin Crafts, call 808 877-3337 to see the schedule and sign up for a class.
Also check out http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/ for scheduling, supplies and the map.

Maui Apple Banana Nut Bread

Today it was all about bananas.
   Our apple banana trees have been putting out plenty of bunches so before they go, I had to bake lots of beautiful apple banana nut breads. In Hawaii we have many varieties of bananas. The Williams bananas are longer like the kind we are familiar with in the mainland. Our apple bananas are short and have a unique sweet fresh taste. They are not as creamy as the ice cream bananas that are more like a custard.

The different thing about apple bananas is when the skin is turning black and you think they are pau (finished), they are still beautiful inside, not bruised at all. (Most of the time.)

These bananas appear bruised but once peeled you can see they are really nice still. Most recipes only call for a few bananas, but my recipe came from an old Maui Ladies Home Cookbook which called for 6-7 ripe bananas. Today I doubled my recipe and because apple bananas are small I used about 15 bananas.

 I sifted together
5 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
4 tsp. of baking soda
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon

Then I cream 4 sticks of butter with
3 cups of sugar and add 3 tsp. of vanilla.
I also add 1/2 cup of honey!

On the side in another bowl I crush my bananas with a beater blade.

I also add 8 large eggs that have been lightly beaten to the butter and sugar mixture.

I combine my wet and dry ingredients adding the bananas and mixing with a large spoon until everything is blended. Then I have my walnuts (2 cups) which I have crushed by using the thick measuring cup to pound them inside a larger bowl. You can cut them, chop them or use the food processor but this is how I have done it for years, so I like it that way.

Incorporate the nuts and add 1 cup of craisins to the batter too. Lightly oil the pans even though they are a non-stick. I do.

This batch made 8 small loaves and one very huge long banana bread equivalent to two normal  loaves, I’d say.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake these small loaves for only 30 minutes or until the bamboo skewer comes out clean. They cook fast.
This apple banana bread took one hour and 15 minutes to bake completely.
Wait a few minutes to cool then slip them out of the pan. I love those non-stick Martha Stewart mini-loaf pans. I have to get another one so I can do double batches. 
So here’s  what it looks like inside. It was moist but I added a little butter and my banana bread was divine.
My mother-in-law Catherine helped me by holding my book. I showed her my step by step banana bread recipe, then we stepped outside while they baked to enjoy another Maui day on the lanai just reading, listening to the birds, and very windy trades blowing as the banana bread was baking.
I want to share some beautiful plant and flower photos that I took yesterday in my yard and in Catherine’s old yard.
Catherine’s heliconia.
Our apple banana tree has about five new stalks on it right now so there’s much more to come.
Pink Plumeria


 Stephanotis vine

   And last but not least beautiful Maui. Our north shore is an awesome spot to watch the wind surfers and take in the most gorgeous views of West Maui and Molokai in the distance.


Don’t forget to vist http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/ for my latest designs on tees and all my books.