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Full SeasonMamaroneck Winter 02/11 – 04/22 Ossining Winter 12/31 – 04/15 Park Slope Winter 01/08 – 04/30
Fresh NowFruits + Vegetables: leeks, onions, fava beans, lima beans, shell beans, daikon radish, spinach, dandelion, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, chard, collards, kale, sorrel, mustard greens, asian greens, arugula
Some of the best organically grown foods in the Northeast are the result of not one -- but two -- jewelry heists. In the early 1980s, Davie Yen of D & J Farm, was a purveyor of fine jewels, selling in high-end markets around the United States. He had come to the U.S. from Taiwan, where he studied as a "generalist" and started on the path towards pure silver and gold. His goods came with a sparkling price tag, too, and after the second time his inventory was robbed by thieves, he decided to return to college to study...hydroponics. "I wanted to get a new skill," Yen explains, "and at the time, hydroponics were totally new."
Today Yen, and his wife, Julie, grow organically all year around on their 3-acre farm that includes 10 greenhouses, each 24 feet by 100 feet. They also farm the land surrounding their greenhouses, and altogether, their harvest includes specialty salad greens to fava beans, sugar and snow peas, bok choy, squash, and much more.
Over the years, Yen found that the traditional hydroponic system did not suit him. "It used too many chemicals," he says. He's committed to organic growing because "it's good for human beings and good for the Earth. We don't want to destroy the Earth." Today, he grows in soil and in a specially outfitted aquaponics greenhouse, which uses live fish to provide nutrients the the growing plants.
He continues to learn new methods of growing, and recently concluded a five-year study on 700 acres of indoor farming on an island near Shanghai, China. "I've finally made the system my way, using all fresh water and no chemicals," he shares.
Their farmers market customers deeply appreciate their commitment. In Julie's words, "We come to the farmers market whether it's hot or cold out, and people often say to us, 'I'm so glad you've come.' This makes us even more encouraged to continue. It keeps us trying to do our best."
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