See Growing Small Farms for more information:
Farmers Jason and Haruka Oatis grow a wide variety of crops on their Moncure farm, including vegetables, herbs and cut flowers. Greenhouse crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, turmeric, Thai ginger, coffee, and more. Field-grown crops include the usual vegetables in addition to Asian varieties like molokeiya, shiso, gobo, Japanese cucumbers, Japanese pole beans, Japanese eggplants and Malabar spinach. Jason and Haruka operate a CSA and sell at the Midtown Farmers’ Market in Raleigh and the Western Wake Farmers’ Market in Cary.
Jason and Haruka are pioneers in the production of upland rice in the Piedmont region. 2010 was their second year of production (they grew a small amount in 2009). They grow a premium short grain brown sushi rice called ‘Koshihikari’. The rice was grown with natural fertilizers, no pesticides, and no intensive flooding. The rice was seeded in late May, and the paddies were flooded for the first 10 days only. The crop was harvested by hand in late September, bundled into shocks, and allowed to dry for at least one week. The rice was threshed to separate the rice grains from the stalks in a combine owned by Bobby Tucker of Okfuskee Farm. The final step was to hull the rice using a hulling machine imported from Japan.
A RAFI Producer Grant helped fund equipment and labor for this rice production project. The Oatises were inspired by the book One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.