In Winter 2023, a coalition of stakeholders, concerned over the current and future state of historic Suyematsu Family Farm have organized to form the Suyematsu Farm Legacy Alliance, dedicated to preserving and enhancing the living legacy and heritage of Akio Suyematsu and his family’s original farm as a community asset involving a center of active farming, interpretation and education.
The Suyematsu Farm Legacy Alliance (SFLA) includes:
- Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farmers Guild
- The Suyematsu Family
- Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community (BIJAC)
- Indipino Community of Bainbridge Island and Vicinity
- Bainbridge Preservation Community
- EduCulture & The Only What We Can Carry Project
Founded in 1928, this forty acre property is one of the oldest, continuously farmed working landscapes in the region, the largest production farm on Bainbridge Island, and a unique private-public partnership. In 2001, Akio Suyematsu sold to the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) the remaining fifteen-acres of his family farm. Formal ownership of this property transferred to COBI upon Akio’s death in 2012. In 2016, the five acre family homestead was listed in the Bainbridge Island Historic Register and was dedicated as the Island’s first ever Historic Preservation District (HPD).
The SFLA is committed to cultivating strong working relationships focused on honoring the legacy of historic Suyematsu Farm, with the aim of supporting the permanent preservation of the HPD, as well as, the surrounding city-owned working landscape within the original forty acres of historic Suyematsu Family Farm, in order to protect the living history and the agricultural and educational legacy of Akio Suyematsu.
The SFLA wants to see this community landmark realize its full potential as a cultural, interpretive, and educational center for teaching and learning about the history, culture and heritage of Akio Suyematsu, the Suyematsu Family, the Island’s larger agricultural heritage, and Japanese American and Indipino experiences on Bainbridge Island. Current goals include stabilizing and restoring the Farm’s Historic Preservation District, placing the farm on State & National Historic Registers, and improving the welfare of the current farmers who are Akio Suyematsu’s agricultural legacy. To help us achieve our goals, we are guided by Akio’s principles and traditions of “clean living” for generations to come.
EduCulture is the fiscal sponsor of the SFLA.