Who wouldn’t want to stop at a walking lavender garden? Just the sound brings thoughts of the wonderful fragrance and lovely blooms to mind. When we stopped on our recent trip to Maui we were excited not only by the beauty of Cathy Toda’s garden, but also by the great café that offered up a variety of items like Lavender tea although I admit I couldn’t get past the wonderful homemade hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies she had to offer.
Cathy’s story is a boon to anyone that wants to follow their dream. Cathy Today a native of Maui left the island to attend college in California where she earned her USC Masters Degree in Real Estate Development. After returning to the island she found that her degree was not what she really wanted to do. “My heart wasn’t in development or real estate,” Toda said. “I wanted to do organic farming. I believe in the power of plants and botanicals. We are losing a lot and growing lavender also helps save our ranch.”
The ranch where Cathy leases land to grow her lavender is part of the oldest and the second largest ranch on the island. Ulupalakua Ranch sits at an elevation of slightly under 2,000 feet offering the perfect cool, dry, climate that lavender thrives on. Besides the beautiful blooms Cathy has her own line of lavender bath and body products.
Maui Lavender is a true agri-tourism stop pulling travelers as well as locals that are traversing between Maui Winery and Haleakala National Park in like a magnet! This is a great place to stop and take in the garden and do like we did relax on her lovely porch, peruse the flowers (she also has beautiful roses) and sit for a spell! For details about Maui Lavender, call 808-250-2284 or log onto www.mauilavender.com.