It’s bitter melon season at Yang farms in Wauchula. Fai and Mao Yang specialize in Asian vegetables like the bumpy skinned gourd.

What You Need To Know

  • Fai and Mao Yang specialize in growing Asian vegetables

  • They like to grow the food to save on overseas shipping costs

  • They share how to cook some of their specialties

“Because I’m Asian, I want to grow the Asian food,” Fai Yang told Spectrum News. “Asian Food is more expensive than American food.”

But growing vegetables in the U.S. means no overseas shipping costs. And then, it’s only the drive to the Pinellas Farmers and Flea Market in Clearwater filled with customers looking for a taste of home.

Mao Yang joked about her decades of success raising a plant from literal seed.

“It’s OK, Because I don’t know how to do anything, only the farm,” she said with a laugh.

Mao said farming keeps their bodies moving and healthy. She also likes that she can raise the healthy vegetables of far-away home countries. 

The pair also make Thai okra.

“Sometimes you cook it, you peel or you don’t want to, you cut like that and cook it,” Mao said while demonstrating how to slice up the okra. “And they are very sweet, they are very sweet and good.”

When pressed, Mao said she cannot pick which crop on the Laotian couple’s 35-acre farm was her favorite.

“I don’t know," she said. "I plant everything — everything I plant is my favorite."

That includes sweet potatoes and their leaves, which taste like spinach. Crops enjoyed by Asian and non-Asian customers alike, spreading culture through their fields of greens. Yang Farms is in Wauchula, and their number is 863-521-3432.