Kou Moua and Tra Her, owners
Mckinley Avenue and Hayes Ave
Fresno, CA 93722
Markets: Aptos, Monterey, Del Monte
Products: Jujubee dates, okra, bok choy, daikon radish, lemongrass, bittermelon, Asian onions, Thai chili peppers, gailon (Chinese broccoli), Asian squash, Asian pumpkins, jicama, Chinese eggplant, Japanese eggplant, basil, Asian cucumbers, and tomatoes.
History/Philosophy: Kou and Tra and their extended family grow produce on 12 leased acres in Fresno. Kou comes from a long line of farmers from his native Laos. When Kou first moved to the Central Valley in 1986 as a teenager, he helped his parents carry on the farming tradition. Today, KT Farm grows many of the same vegetables his family grew in Laos. Conventional farming methods are used, although an effort to minimize pesticide and herbicide use is employed whenever possible.
Kou and his wife, Tra, also from Laos, are proud of their Hmong tradition. The Hmong (pronounced “mung”) are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. An estimated 300,000 Hmong live in the US today; more than 100,000 live in California, including 60,000 in the Central Valley, and 32,000 in Fresno.
The Hmong staple food is white rice, which is usually eaten with a variety of vegetables, hot pepper and boiled or fried meat if it is available. Hmong cuisine is characterized by the use of a wide variety of spices and herbs, including Thai chili pepper, lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, green onion, mint and ginger. Various sauces are also popular, such as fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, siracha sauce (a Thai hot sauce), and hoisin sauce.