This farm was established by Akio Suyematsu, who is a 2nd
generation Japanese American. Born in 1921, Akio is still
farming today. Akio is an "old school" farmer -- he does
not even own a computer.
Akio's family has been farming on the Day Road property
since 1928. A rare story in American history, the
Suyamatsu family was interned in the war, but regained
their land upon their release from Manzanar.
A portion of the farm was sold to Gerard Bentryn of
Bainbridge Island Vineyard and Winery in 1981. Most of
the property where the farm stand sits has since been sold
by Akio and Gerard to the City of Bainbridge Island, where
it is now reservered for agricultural use in perpetuity.
Since the late 2000's, several local farms have joined
forces with Akio to provide additional local products
outside of Akio's production season. Akio now focuses on
raspberries and pumpkins, with other farmers providing
many crafts, corn, strawberries, greens, trees.
Akio is notoriously shy, so there's not much in print about him. However, here are some web articles on Akio and his farm:
Bainbridge Island Review: Akio Suyematsu honored by Friends of the Farms
Perennial Vintners: Ichigo
Photo: Dennis Anstine/Bainbridge Island Review
Note: Akio Passwed away 31-July-2012. Obituary at Cook Family Funeral Home.