Kahuku Farms—A Legacy of Farm Fresh Food

by: Evan Fa

The little town of Kahuku has come to be known for many different things through the years. For some, it is the famous Kahuku prawns and shrimp farmed and raised on the ocean side (makai side) of Kamehameha Highway. For others it may be the renowned Kahuku High School football team, Red Raiders, that has produced heaps of football stars both at the collegiate and professional levels. Still for some it may be the now defunct sugar farms and mill, which brought the ancestors of many Kahuku residents from their various countries around the world and areas within the islands to this north shore town. All these things considered, one legacy that has also withstood the tests of time and matured into something great is that of Kahuku Farms.

The story of Kahuku Farms is that of two farming families coming together. The story, according to kahukufarms.com, goes as follows:

Descendants of the Matsuda and Fukuyama families migrated to Hawaii from Japan to work in the sugar plantations back in the 1900’s. Shinichi and Torie Matsuda started farming bell peppers, papayas, watermelon and bananas in Kahuku back in the 1940’s and were later joined by their son Melvin in the the 1960’s. During a similar time Masatsugu and Nora Fukuyama, also of Kahuku, were farming watermelon, eggplant, papaya and cucumbers and were later joined by their son Clyde in 1965. Clyde and Melvin became long time friends and did several farming ventures together, one of which took them to Australia where they both worked for a year growing watermelons. With similar philosophies and goals, they both decided to merge the Matsuda and Fukuyama Farms in 1986 creating Kahuku Brand. Kahuku Brand is a company dealing primarily with growing and distributing Hawaii wholesale fruits and vegetables.

With the love of agriculture deeply rooted with both Mel and Clyde, they felt compelled to create a way to diversify and share the wonders and bounty of farming with friends and family, to educate, share and offer hands-on experiences that would enhance the quality of life and result in a deeper appreciation of agriculture as their purpose.

Thus, Kahuku Farms was created. A place intended for learning, enjoyment, and experience of diversified agriculture at its finest.

In 2005, the daughter of Mel and Momi Matsuda, Kylie Matsuda agreed to champion the task of running the operations for Kahuku Farms. “I feel honored and grateful to perpetuate our family’s future in farming,” says Kylie. “To share our generations of knowledge and history with others, in this amazing place that I’ve known as home is a dream I’m passionate to live.” Kylie is a graduate of Kahuku High School and the Travel Industry Management School at the University of Hawaii. 

Kahuku farms offers a variety of farm fresh items, from sandwiches and salads to smoothies and sorbet at their Farm Cafe. Not to mention, a whole bunch of fresh produce and jams, skin products, and other gifts within their store. Lastly, Kahuku Farms offers a variety of tours of the farm to educate visitors on the operations of the specific farm as well as agriculture in Hawaii as a whole.

Kahuku Farms is a short 3 mile drive from Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort. Simply take a left turn exiting the resort and follow Kamehameha Hwy to 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731.

Hours: Open all days (except Tuesday) 11am to 4pm

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