Many of the green taro patches seen from the Hanalei Valley Overlook belong to the 30-acre Haraguchi Farm, where fifth-generation farmer Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama, family members, and other laborers tend Hawaii’s revered staple by hand. When the Haraguchis bought the farm in 1924, the wetlands were rice paddies, planted by Chinese immigrants in the 1800s. With the purchase came a wooden rice mill that stayed in operation until 1960 and is the only such structure left in the state. Restored several times after fire and hurricanes, the Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill is now a nonprofit “agrarian museum” and, like the farm, is open to visitors only as part of a weekly guided tour. Adults will appreciate hearing Haraguchi-Nakayama’s stories from the family’s rice-growing days, when children would be tasked with keeping grain-hungry birds away; she’ll also point out the endangered birds in this corner of the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. Once you’ve begun to appreciate the hard work of cultivating kalo, as the Hawaiians call taro, it’s time to sample fluffy, freshly pounded taro rolled in coconut. The 3 1/2-hour tour begins at the family’s roadside stand in Hanalei with a taro smoothie and ends there with a tasty lunch; a small gift shop is nearby.
Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill & Taro Farm
Check in at Hanalei Taro & Juice stand, 5-5070 Kuhio Hwy., makai side., Hanalei, HI
Our Rating Neighborhood North Shore Hours Wed. 9:45am by reservation only. Phone 808/651-3399 Prices Tours $84 adults, $50 children 5–12. Web site Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill & Taro Farm