I’m starting out on a new project. That means I am anxious and excited both. Excited, because there is a wonderful story to tell about 40 acres of land and the hands that work that land. Anxious, because I want to get it right.
It’s the start of a new year and therefore I’m starting to assemble images of this farm on Bainbridge Island that will eventually show what the farm is like in all seasons and weather. I got lucky one day last week – we had snow on the island that stayed on the ground long enough to create a pretty white carpet over the fields and emphasize the geometry of the landscape.
This small farm was started by the Suyematsu family in 1928. It is the oldest, most continuously farmed land on Bainbridge Island. Except for the period during WWll, when the Japanese were interred, this land has been worked by local farmers. Today, Akio Suyematsu – aged 89 – still works the farm, along with 5 other farmers.
On the day these winter photos were taken I had the sense that I had stepped back in time. Due to the unusual snow fall and icy roads there was no sound of traffic from Hwy 305. The only sounds were the wind in the fir trees, the chattering of chickadees, and the lonely call of a hawk circling overhead. With my back to the wind I could see all the way to the snow capped Olympic mountains and I was completely unaware of the neighborhood that now exists just behind the trees on the north end of the property. I was hearing the same sounds as the original farmers who 75 years ago cleared this land by horse and dynamite.
I hope that if you ever get the chance you’ll stop by the farm, buy a bottle of the Bentryn’s wine, or visit me here as I continue to share what I discover about this gem of farm and piece of living island history.