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Kula is the center of Maui's Upcountry and just off Highway 37. The area is Maui's agricultural heartland and crops, such as lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower and cabbage thrive there, due to Kula's warm days, cool nights and rich volcanic soil. Sweet Kula onions are famous throughout Hawaii and no local gourmet would be complete without them. Most of Hawaii's proteas, carnations and chrysanthemums are also grown in the area. During the California Gold Rush in the 19th century, Kula farmers shipped so many potatoes off to the miners that the area became known as Nu Kaleponi, or New California.

There are several interesting gardens in Kula. The Clouds' Rest Protea Farm has a small garden with plants that are identified by plaques. Tropical plants can be seen at Kula Botanical Gardens. It is overgrown and shady. The Enchanting Floral Gardens that were established later are sunny, open and colorful. The University of Hawaii runs an Agricultural Research Center there that specializes in developing new protea hybrids. Another important sight in the region is the octagonal Holy Ghost Church, which was built in 1897 by Portuguese immigrants. It boasts a beautifully ornate Iberian interior.


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