Monday, May 11, 2009

Yuno's Farm & Nevia No: Great Vegetables, Minimal Spraying

UPDATE: Nevia No has left Yuno's Farm, which is now known as Lani's Farm. For more information about Nevia No and her new farm, Bodhitree Farm, click here.

(First of two parts)

In my opinion, some of the best vegetables available in New York City’s farmers markets are grown by Nevia No, who runs Yuno’s Farm in Bordentown, N.J.

No farms 105 acres and grows dozens of vegetables, including many Asian varietals that no other farmer offers within the New York City market network.

I favor No’s vegetables for two reasons: their superb flavor and the limited spraying she employs on her crops.

“More and more,” No said, “we are moving away from spraying.”

No estimates that 90% of her vegetables are free of herbicides and insecticides, including all of the greens (salad greens and dark leafy greens) that are such a staple of her spring offerings.

Why such little spraying, when other farmers rely so heavily on various pesticides?

“We hand weed all of our fields,” No said. “We pick everything young, so they are less prone to disease.”

Trust me; this is not an easy task, even with No’s team of eight workers who tend the fields daily. I have two garden patches totaling 800 square feet and it takes me hours to properly weed them.

The exceptions to No’s no-spraying policy are heirloom tomatoes, pepper and eggplants, members of the nightshade family which are administered fungicide to keep them healthy.

“It would be a little difficult and not realistic to go completely no spraying,” No said, “especially with the nightshades.”

(Tomorrow: More about Yuno's Farm)


Lani's Farm Inc. said...

Hi Rob - Thank you so much for your wonderful article about Juno's Farm. Please note that Yuno's Farm is now Lani's Farm. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

We're concerned because all of a sudden Nevia was no longer on duty at the stand and her team says only that "she doesn't work here any more." But it seemed to us that it was Nevia who created the loyal following for the fine farm produce.

What's up? Did the farm get sold to new owners?

Chef Rob said...

Unfortunately, Nevia left the operation earlier this summer due to some internal squabbles at the farm. Everything is the same, except of course for Nevia's absence.

I corresponded with Nevia after she left and she was hoping to start her own farm.

Keep your fingers crossed and, in the meantime, I'll try to find out more information from Nevia.