Liza of “A Maui Blog” | Photos courtesy Liza Pierce
Hawai‘i is known for its famous tropical flowers such as the fragrant plumerias, colorful hibiscus, exotic bird of paradise and gorgeous ginger blooms. These tropical blooms are common here on Maui and are often seen in the landscaping of homes and resorts. But sunflowers? No. We have not really associated sunflowers with Maui or Hawai‘i. Not until last year when “out of the blue” social media on Maui were filled with selfies and group photos of people enjoying the sunflower field on Maui, Hawai‘i! Who would have thought sunflowers would be a “craze” on Maui?
Although sunflowers quickly became an attraction, the sunflowers planted and bloomed in 2017 were not really intended for tourism.
When the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co. announced the end of sugar production on Maui after 145 years, the main question asked was what’s going to happen to the sugar cane field? Some were worried it might be replaced by more boxed stores. But the Pacific Biodiesel Company has a plan, at least for a portion of it. They have “sunflowers” in mind. Pacific Biodiesel has been studying and experimenting with sunflowers for years, especially for sunflower oils, and when the opportunity came, they cultivated a sunflower farm on Maui.
On Saturday, March 3, 2018, I was invited to join the private media tour at the Maui Sunflower Field currently blooming.
One of the reasons for this invitation is to introduce and share with us the new line of beauty products called “Kuleana” which is a product of the oils harvested from the sunflowers last year. Around 1,330 gallons of sunflower oil were generated from the first 14-acre field farmed by Pacific Biodiesel in 2017.
Why did they name the oil beauty product Kuleana? In Hawaiian, kuleana means a personal sense of responsibility. This value inspires Pacific Biodiesel to practice sustainability, support local farming and help create a cleaner, kinder, healthier world for us all. And now it defines our new line of beauty oils and other skin care products that they make here in Hawai‘i. Kuleana is part of Maiden Hawai‘i Naturals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawai‘i’s pioneering renewable energy company, Pacific Biodiesel.
Speaking of Kuleana, I would like to remind the public that these sunflower fields are private property and it is our responsibility to respect that. Yes, a new crop of sunflowers are blooming in Central Maui but if you’re looking for photo ops, Pacific Biodiesel requests that you visit the sunflower field at the Maui Tropical Plantation.
The sunflower field at the Maui Tropical Plantation was grown to provide a safer alternative for photo-ops and selfies (so people won’t have to park along the road).
If and when you go to the Maui Tropical Plantation and the Sunflowers are already harvested, don’t fret. They have planted some more and will be blooming again soon.