Though he operates in the shadow of perhaps the state's largest tourist attraction, farmer Bob Raley notes that there's more to the Big Island of Hawaii than just the Kilauea Volcano.
There are macadamia nuts, coffee, sugar, honey, pineapples, flowers and livestock, which all support the island's diverse agriculture industry.
"We on Hawaii have a lot of unique types of farming, and it's kind of interesting to people," said Raley, the owner of Volcano Isle Coffee and Tropicals and one of a growing number of state farmers who are showing off their products through tourism-related activities.
It's called "ag tourism," and it's seen by many as a natural marriage between the traditional farming activities that helped build the island economy and the tourism sector that now drives the state.
While counties can regulate ag tourism, Hawaii lawmakers are debating legislation that would define the practice statewide -- a move that might persuade more farmers to open up their land to visitors.
"There is hesitation," said Paula Helfrich, president of the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board. "There is a lack of understanding -- a sense that agricultural tourism is an excuse to put hotel development on agricultural lands, and it unequivocally is not."
House lawmakers have approved an ag tourism bill; a companion measure has been tabled by Senate committees.
The House bill would allow tourism activities as part of a working farm or a farming operation on agriculturally zoned land, provided the activity doesn't interfere with surrounding operations.
Activities designed to attract visitors and generate supplemental income for farmers range from conducting tours and selling products directly from the farm to operating a bed-and-breakfast, allowing horseback riding or holding festivals on the land.
The key stipulation is that tourism-related activities must be secondary to farming.
"It has to be a working farm or agricultural concern that encourages access to visitors," Helfrich said. "It cannot be a bed-and-breakfast with a cow out front. That's not agricultural tourism."
A 2000 study by the Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service pegged the value of ag tourism-related activities statewide at $26 million -- about a third of which was generated by direct sales of farm products.
That year, the latest for which figures are available, 126 of the state's 5,500 farms generated money from ag tourism. Another 84 farms had either started or planned to start similar ventures.
Raley added tourism to his operation around 2000. He bought Volcano Isle Tropicals, a flower farm, in 1987 and nine years later began growing coffee. Today, the operation has one acre of anthuriums and other flowers and about 1,500 coffee trees on two acres.
"They can tour a whole coffee field," Raley said of visitors. "Certain times, we'll be processing and we can explain to them how it works.
"It seems to be fairly interesting to most people, especially people from the mainland who all they know is going to the grocery store to buy coffee," Raley said.
While the operation only attracts about a dozen visitors a month, supporters of ag tourism say that's the point -- tourism as a secondary element of the farming operation.
Opponents of the ag tourism legislation argue that unscrupulous developers may try to take advantage of the law. They say precise language is needed.
"Clearly, if someone has a working ag operation, it makes sense for them to be able to augment their income," said Jeff Mikulina, director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii Chapter. "What we're worried about is further erosion of our land-use laws."
Even if the Senate declines to take up the House measure, supporters say the proposal is likely to return. "We've been trying to push this for years," Helfrich said. "It's not so much money, it's the political will and recognition of agricultural tourism as a viable part of the tourism industry."
Raley is among those who see more potential for ag tourism, particularly if farmers start marketing themselves to tourists who go to the Big Island to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
"You can only look at the volcano for so long," Raley said. "Then they go somewhere else."