Thursday, November 22, 2007
The Sugar Museum, shopping and Bad Ass Coffee
Sugar cane has long been a main agricultural product of the islands and Maui is probably the best known one. I think everyone has heard of C & H Pure Cane Sugar. Here is where it comes from. But that is changing, probably because there are other places in the world where the cane can be grown and the costs to produce it are a lot less. And the land here is so valuable for other uses, like building more houses. Anyway, this is the sign at the entrance to the parking lot for the museum.
This is a small patch of cane that is growing at the edge of the parking lot for the museum. It takes two years from planting until it is ready to harvest. About three weeks before harvest they stop watering it to let the leaves dry. The cane itself is about 85% water so it retains a lot of moisture which is important since the next step it to burn the field. The leaves burn but not the cane, due to it's high water content. It is then brought to the factory for processing.
The museum itself is housed in this building which is a former residence for the plant manager.
The processing plant is across the street. The "smoke" you see coming from the stacks is really steam. The cane itself, after the sugar has been extracted, is burned for heat to operate the factory. The product that comes from this factory is sent to California (the "C" part of the name) for final packaging and distribution to your store shelves.
There are some large parts around the place that show the massive size of some of the equipment used here, including this gear or whatever it is. As I recall the shaft of this thing was over a foot in diameter.
Another very large part with Pat standing beside it to give an idea of how large this gear really is. Pat is 5' 3" tall.
Flowers grow all over the place in Hawaii. This bush was near the museum parking lot and probably had been planted & cared for at one time but I think it is now just going wild. It is very colorful.
There are Starbucks shops on Maui but we chose to drink a local product called Bad Ass Coffee. The coffee is a Kona coffee from the big island of Hawaii but I think it is roasted on Maui. The company name is to honor the small donkeys that were used in the past to haul the freshly picked beans down the mountain. We had a shopping list from our kids here of certain blends to bring back for them as the coffee is available in a few places here on the mainland, so two of mine at least are familiar with it but have a problem finding it in our area.
The shop we visited is kind of small and funky. It is right beside a parking lot and on the other side a fairly large shopping area with lots of small merchants selling a big variety of things. We shopped there quite a bit but I'm not going into what all we bought as some are for Christmas presents. Those shops are open air but under a roof, so shaded. You can see the front part of the roof cover behind and above the coffee shop in this photo. There are two sections of overhead roof with a nice garden courtyard between them.
This is the back shop area as seen from the courtyard. You can get a partial idea of what all is sold there from this photo.
There is another entrance to the courtyard directly from the parking lot. This little foot bridge goes over a pond that is larger than it looks and has a lot of koi fish. The courtyard is nicely shaded and has comfortable places to sit, relax and drink your Bad Ass mocha.
Pat is sitting on the edge of the koi pond with our coffees beside her, looking at the fish. This photo just shows four of the fish but you can get an idea how large they all are.
As I said, the courtyard is also a garden and here is a beautiful example of one of the red ginger flowers growing there. We will have a lot more flower photos later when we visited the Tropical Plantation, but as I said above, they are all over this island. Enough for one post.
Hope your Thanksgiving with Pat's folks was great! Mine was, and thank you for the Thanksgiving best wishes. :-)
Love and hugs,
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I was telling my Dad about you this last week, about your RV and going to see that Elvis impersonator. They have a great big fifth wheel and I told him to not be surprised if you ever ran into each other.
(Though I told him you didn't drive your RV to Hawaii.)
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