Lee lives on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i where she owns and operates North Country Farms, an organic family farm and eco-tourist destination complete with tropical guest cottages. She believes her three grown children are her best part, but she also enjoys yoga, travel, and reading.
1. How do the experiences you offer give guests a unique perspective on history, people or culture of your region?
We attempt to integrate the culture and the flora and fauna of the island of Kauai by suggesting reading material, sending them to the lovely little Kauai museum and the Kilauea Lighthouse National Wildlife Refuge, as well as suggesting the events happening that highlight the Hawaiian culture.
2. How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
We have grown as a farm over the years, expanding as my sons have matured and taken on more of the nurturing of the land we are so blessed to live on.
3. What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Many people do not take advantage of the fruits and vegetables we encourage them to harvest and enjoy while they are our guests on the farm. But, I do understand as they are so busy getting out and about and hiking, snorkeling, biking and more!
4. What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?
Just how much we treasure sharing the fruits of our labor.
5. What is one travel trend that really excites you?
Farm stays! Making a living farming is often a fickle path. Knowing that farm stays help to keep small farms like ours operating while providing a glance into sustainability in action for visitors is a marvelous thing!
6. What sets North Country Farms apart from other, similar, organizations?
Here in the Hawaiian islands the operating farms that offer accommodations are few and far between – so we are among a handful of unique eco-tourism destinations here.
7. What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Stay in small locally-owned lodgings. Talk to your hosts and milk them for their knowledge of the place you are wanting to experience.
8. What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
I would not call it a strategy, but rather an attitude of excitement in sharing the joy we have in running an organic family farm and offering a place on it for intrepid travelers.
9. What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Hard work and a positive attitude.
10. Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
I had a guest a couple of years back who lived in a big city. She was so moved by witnessing what we were doing here, that she moved out of the city and bought land and started an organic garden. She sent photos and her joy in changing her lifestyle was evident.