Monday, December 1, 2014

Norman Kawauchi: Hawaiian Gardenia Grower

A Life of Farming

I was in Honolulu last week to visit customers and deliver Christmas greens.  While I was there I visited Norman Kawauchi an 89 year old gardenia and tropical flower grower from Waimanalo.  My favorite people in the flower business are growers.  I can sell flowers and read financial statements, but I don’t grow.  My father and uncles were growers, and that was the strength of Kitayama Brothers.  I am dependent on good growers and I try to understand what makes a successful grower.  Therefore I visit top flower farms and try to learn as much as possible.  I especially love to visit the growers who are innovative and passionate about what they do.

Norman shared with me his love for growing gardenias, but the bigger lesson was hearing about his life as a farmer.  It wasn’t an easy life, but I don’t think he would trade it for any other.  

Please take a look at this 2 minute video of Norman.  I wish I had more of his life on video, but I do plan to go back and “talk story” a little more.  


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