UACES Facebook Miller County Farmer of Month is Koua Phao and Mai Her

Miller County Farmers of the Month are Koua Phao and Mai Her

Koua Phao and Mai Her grow specialty crops such as greens, flowers, bok choy, lemongrass, zucchini, cucumbers, snap beans, corn, garlic, onions, purple sweet potato, herbs, mustard greens, kale, hot peppers, squash, and more.

TEXARKANA, Ark. –  Our Miller County Farmers of the Month for March are Koua Phao and Mai Her. They raise and sell home-grown produce at our local Gateway Farmers Market here in Texarkana, on the corner of Jefferson & East 9th, as well as at the Farmers Market in Shreveport.

For farmers, including Kaua Phao and Mai Her, marketing and selling their products are the most challenging parts of the farm enterprise, especially when selling directly to consumers. Direct markets for fresh and unique food products are among the most rapidly growing farm opportunities. Consumers want to buy tasty, healthy food directly from farmers — farmers with whom they can talk, ask questions and build relationships.

They are both originally from Asia where their families were rice farmers. They moved to the United States in 1982 – first to Minnesota and then in 2005, to Texarkana.

Koua Phao and Mai Her grow specialty crops such as greens, flowers, bok choy, lemongrass, zucchini, cucumbers, snap beans, corn, garlic, onions, purple sweet potato, herbs, mustard greens, kale, hot peppers, squash, and more.

They began selling at the Gateway Farmers Market approximately 6 years ago. They sell flowers beginning June 1st, greens April 1st and cucumbers and squash at the end of April. They have poultry breeding houses with Tyson also and hope to venture into buying and raising cattle.

They say they enjoy eating the things they produce and wanted to share the abundance with neighbors. They do not use chemicals on the products they produce.

They are the parents of 8 children from the ages of 14-36 years of age. Three of them are still in Minnesota and the ones here help with the farm.

FUN FACTS:

Bok Choy takes about 2 months from planting to harvest and thrives best in milder weather. Bok choy is sometimes called a “soup spoon” because of the shape of its leaves.

Kale gives you more nutritional bang for your buck. 1 cup of raw kale has just 33 calories yet contains 684% of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

2 Japanese car brands were named after rice: Toyota, meaning “Bountiful Rice Field,” and Honda, meaning “Main Rice Field.”

By Jennifer Caraway
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jennifer Caraway
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
(870) 779-3609
jcaraway@uaex.edu

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