In South Asia there are countless varieties of rice, with different ones prized across each region. But according to Pandit — who now runs Gopal Farm in the Hudson Valley, where he grows South Asian varieties of produce — basmati is “the queen,” the type known the world over for its distinct toasty, nutty flavor and fluffy texture. Who Owns Basmati? The Complicated Story of Texmati Rice.
In 2016, Pandit started producing Indian vegetables to establish the farm and raise funds for dairy production. He took to growing right away, “I've grown up with this food. It's so easy for me to understand what these vegetables are, when to harvest them, and how they should taste. And my customers know too.” It wasn't long before restaurants started taking notice. Culinary icon and sustainable farming thought leader Dan Barber of Blue Hill became Gopal Farms' first client after discovering them at the Union Square Greenmarket.
Gopal Farm is actually named in honor of cows—a sacred animal in Nimai’s culture and in the Hindu faith-- “Go” meaning cows in Sanskrit and “pal” being a friend. Gopal Farm is researching and implementing the use of cow’s various products from concepts learned from ancient Indian Vedic texts for sustainable agriculture in crop production. Their holistic farming methods encompass most non-conventional and emerging systems of agriculture, including regenerative, organic, permaculture, biodynamic, and perennial.
Drawing inspiration from the ancient wisdom of Indian Vedic Sanskrit texts, Gopal Farm’s Complete (Isha) farming method encompasses non-conventional and emerging systems of agriculture including regenerative, organic, permaculture, and biodynamic. The 76-acre Hudson Valley farm is focused on growing heirloom Indian vegetables, spices and Ayurvedic herbs sourced from seeds harvested from different regions of India.
Gopal Organic Farm also produces Ethical milk products sourced from a small herd of A2/A2 grass-fed dairy cows. Our raw milk will be sold directly from the farm. Our cows are free to live out their natural lives and are provided with comfort care at the end stages of life (10% of revenue from all cow products is deposited into a “cows retirement fund” to be utilized specifically for their old age). We support ethical practices through our non-profit Ecownomics.
Meet Nimai Pandit (he moved from India in 1994) from the Hudson Valley in New York State. He started milk production in the spring of 2016 with his wife, and there is talk of "small batch" milk where the animals get extra love. It's basically a good starting point for proposing to vegans. The two even started vegetable production, but this is seasonal and they want to try something new, but it took time to get started with milk due to regulations and many requirements from the authorities.
On 90 acres of land in the Hudson Valley, Pandit and his wife, Ashley Scott, started Gopal Farm in April 2016 with one guiding principle: love for the cow, something they found lacking at other farms. But selling milk requires permits, infrastructure, and money, so the couple started Gopal as a vegetable farm first, in order to establish themselves and raise funds to take on milk production.
We explore the idea of functional food and tell stories of individuals who are looking to heal the body, spirit, and global community one meal at a time. Accomplished multi-hyphenate Waris Aluwahlia, celebrated chef Su-Mei Yu, Ayurvedic farmer Nimai Gupta of Gopal Farms, and Suresh Pillai and Carrie Dashow of Atina Foods show us that consciousness and intent are two of the most powerful ingredients in life.