While sitting comfortably and looking out from our beautiful lanai, we are not only graced with a beautiful view of the ocean, but also of the island of Molokai. When I visited Maui last fall, I was taking in the view and then started to think about Molokai. What’s over there? How do you get there? It looks so close. And close it is. Only a 15 minute or so Cessna ride away, you can be on Molokai in a flash.
When I was in Maui last month, I thought it might be nice for my dad and I to take a day trip over there. I bought us plane tickets, did a little research and over to Molokai we went. The view from our tiny plane was breathtaking.
Molokai is a pretty undeveloped place which is part of what makes it so special. It has a population of around 7,400 people and is about 10 mi by 38 mi. It’s occupied by a couple of tiny towns and some very beautiful and special farms.
Once my dad and I hopped off the plane, we grabbed a rental car and headed over to Kumu Farms. Oddly enough, a tiny, family owned natural foods store located a few miles from my house in Los Angeles sells organic strawberry papayas from Kumu Farms. I thought it was so cool that I had eaten their papayas and then got to go meet the trees that they came from. Kumu also offers up their papayas for mail order on their website. They’d be great to go in on with a friend, as so many papayas are GMO non-sense and Kumu’s are organic and spectacularly delicious!
The farm is not really too open for exploring, but the farmers are (as always) the nicest and friendliest lot you’ll ever meet. The farm is easy to find and pretty close to Molokai airport (which is more of just a landing strip) so it’s a sensible first stop. They also have apple bananas and tons of other organic goodies as well as preserved and snacks.
I explored the areas that I could taking a slow, peaceful stroll through the papaya grove. The weather was beautiful. Ever so slightly warm, but not too hot. The island has a slowed down, very relaxing feel to it…that I can only describe as contagious. In retrospect, my dad and I should have packed a gourmet picnic and found a nice spot in the Molokai wild to eat. We didn’t do that however, so even with our yummy snacks from Kumu Farms we had to leave to go fill our bellies.
After leaving Kumu in search of sturdier eats, we happened upon Molokai Pizza Cafe. Let me be clear about something–Molokai is not a place you travel to for gourmet cuisine like the other, more inhabited, islands. You will be hard pressed to find anything gourmet or fancy with the exception of the coffee, yummy produce, preserves and trail mixes made from fresh fruits, macadamias and such. I knew that the options for a vegan may be very limited as well, but I think we really lucked out with Molokai Pizza Cafe. Don’t be scared away by the Yelp reviews, which are less than savory. This place gets most of what they use from the Maui Costco in Kahului. That actually turned out great for my dad and I, as they had vegan veggie burgers from Costco and my dad, well, he just LOVES Costco and does the majority of his food shopping there. We both chowed down (no pictures) and were both totally happy and satisfied with our meals. Again, nothing fancy, but still yummy and very filling. Just what we needed to get back in our car and head to our next stop, Purdy’s Macadamia Nut Farm…which you’ll to read about in my next post. Also coming soon: a papaya-pineapple crisp that I made with Kumu papayas and Maui Gold pineapple.