Fresno County farm specializes in crops beloved by Asian communities

Dale Yurong Image
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Fresno County Farm finds niche by growing food that fit Asian and Indian family needs
KB Farms specializes in growing crops for diverse communities in the western states and even Canada.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno County farm has found its niche by growing food that meets the needs of Asian and Indian families all over the West Coast.

The vegetables at KB Farms near Easton ripen quickly under the hot Valley sun.

The farm specializes in growing crops for diverse communities in the western states and even Canada.

It doesn't take long for the smooth luffa to grow big enough to harvest.

The crop also known as patola has to be wrapped to protect it during shipping.

All of their produce is stored inside a chilly warehouse that was built a decade ago.

Kham Boriboun and his wife, Eu Yang, have run KB Farms for over two decades.

Some of the selections there are not commonly seen in the U.S. - like the small Indian eggplant. In addition to the vegetables, they grow jujubes, a small sweet fruit.

"The longer purple one is the Chinese eggplant and then the lighter one with green is the Philippine eggplant," Yang said. "They all cook pretty much the same depending on what you like."

It is always a relief for them to see the cooler stacked high with produce ready to be delivered to a wholesaler.

Because of reduced water deliveries because of the drought, Kham Boribon has been pumping a lot of well water to irrigate.

"Maybe mostly started in July and right now and next month they still need a lot of water for the plants," Boribon said.

For KB Farms, this has been a bounce-back year. During the pandemic, many restaurants and stores closed and the orders stopped.

"We kind of worried because of all this. You know, you have a mortgage payment and car payment and you can't sell anything and there's no income coming in," Yang said.

Business has gotten better but the high heat doesn't help. Boribon says sometimes it can burn certain crops but even when we warm up, the work never ends.