Why Gopal Farm CSA
The Problem : Non-Organic Old Tasteless Indian Vegetables
The Vegetables that are available in Indian Grocery Stores do not come from India.
They are largely grown in Central America to keep the prices low, mainly because of the lower labour costs.
These vegetables are harvested weeks earlier before the vegetables have reached their prime so that they can last the long journey.
This generally causes a lack of taste. Moreover, the hybrid seed varieties are selected for durability, production, and appearance at the expense of flavor. The treatments mandated to kill pests can further degrade flavor or texture. It might seem logical that older produce is also less nutritious and lasts less. It also spoils easier and earlier due to the factory preservation techniques used.
The larger problem is of the use of fertilizers and pesticides in growing these vegetables in large scale commercial farms. Studies after studies have shown the harmful health effects on us and our family.
Our Solution : Heirloom Organic Locally Grown
Understanding this problem, my wife and I, have personally sourced heirloom (ancient) seed varieties directly from farmers in India with a focus on taste and originality.Season 2023 - Launching soon
With our partners in India - small farmers, small scale breeders, and local seed growers, we have been able to source not only the Desi (heirloom) seeds of standard normal vegetables like Bottle Gourd, Bitter Melon, Eggplants, chili, Ridge gourd, tomatoes, okra, dosakkai, etc. but we have also been able to source many unique vegetable seeds from different regions of India.
We at Gopal Farm NY are now probably the largest repository of Indian Heirloom Vegetable seeds and we continue to grow them each year. We are hoping that seeing the enthusiastic usage of these local desi vegetables in the USA, local farmers, Chefs, and households in India will start growing and using them more thereby reviving the usage of healthy flavorful local seasonal vegetables.
Since 2016, we have been trialing them at our NY farm using better than Organic practices. We use a combination of ancient Indian Agriculture techniquesas well as modern implements and knowledge.
We have been grateful that many renowned Chefs of NYC have trialed them for us and included them in their seasonal recipes.
Some Vegetables grow well, and some do not. So we try to find a close replacement from another region in India. Due to the cold climate hence shorter growing period we test various techniques to grow them longer. The high cost of Labor in USA compared to India is another constraint.
These vegetables are then picked when they are just ripe, largely only a day before they are delivered to you or you could even come and pick them up yourself!
Previous year's CSA box receivers consistently list three reasons to continue to source their weekly Indian Vegetables from us:
1. Taste and nutrition as the most important reason
2. Family's health by sourcing their Organic Indian vegetables from a local farm.
3. Convenience of home deliveries.
In colder months, we grow the greens in geothermal heated greenhouses. We have also partnered with an Organic Farm in Florida to grow Organic Vegetables and Fruits for the beginning and end season months when it is too cold here in NY to grow warm weather Indian Vegetables. With our contracted truck, we are able to bring the harvested vegetables from our FL farm within 2 days to our NY farm keeping the flavor and freshness intact.