Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama and husband Brad in the taro fields at W.T. Haraguchi Farm. Cover photo for August issue by Keri Cooper
Editor’s note: Kaua`i County Farm Bureau Fair starts Thursday, August 23, goes through Sunday, August 26.
by Anne E. O’Malley
A sixth-generation Hanalei family business includes a heritage farm, an agrarian museum and the place where Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama can stand two feet deep in lo`i kalo backed by Hihimanu, Namolokama and Mamalahoa Mountains and say, “I’m home.”
It was exciting growing up on the Hanalei Riverside leasehold with 55 acres in taro, a farm that supported her grandparents and her parents, Rodney and Karol Haraguchi, along with herself and her brother, Whitney, now a soil conservationist living in California.
“I started driving a tractor at six years old, and when I got a little older, I would have to baby sit my brother and would pack him behind me on the tractor seat,” says Lyndsey. “I always saw myself somehow connected to the family farm and knew that I would come back to continue the tradition.”
The tradition she refers to is the Ho`opuapula Haraguchi Rice Mill, a nonprofit national historic building and taro farm tour for which she is the educational coordinator. She’s charged with booking educational groups from around the state, ranging from pre-kindergarten to college classes, and seeing to the public, pre-arranged tours on Wednesdays that support the educational programs.
There’s the farm itself, W.T. Haraguchi Farm, which she helps run and that supplies the majority of Kaua`i taro used by the state.
But coming home to ag post-college these days and starting a family means the revenue stream has to grow. Lyndsey, with an MBA from Hawaii Pacific University and her Kaneohe-raised, urban-bred husband Brad Nakayama, with a B.A. in psychology, figured it out.
Read more after the photo gallery.