The farm is profitable because of its diversity of crops and customers. It sells directly to chefs, through specialty distributors and wholesalers, and at farmers' markets. Hill also owns a garden store in Hilo that sells plants and imported Indonesian crafts and furniture. The couple are proud of their farm but shy about becoming a major tourist destination. "We're a working farm," Hill says apologetically. Your best bet is to go through Hawaii Agventures (hawaiiagventures.com), a marketing initiative from Big Island Farm Bureau, which schedules tours by appointment.
We sit down at a picnic table to talk and hear the couple's stories of high jinks in rural Indonesia and shipping mishaps with their notoriously stinky durian fruit packed onto commercial flights. (The passengers above the cargo hold were none too pleased.) That's when it comes to me that the fun of agritourism is equal parts land and people. I mention to Crowell that I enjoy meeting the farmers as much as seeing their crops, and he smiles. "We're an eclectic group of fruits and nuts."