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The FareTrade

The Trade

Larry Kandarian

Larry Kandarian | Kandarian Farms

Kandarian is connecting people to the land through real food produced on their small, but mighty farm on the Central Coast of California. Modern agricultural practices favoring efficiency and profit have erased much of nature's diversity and nutrition from modern diets, but Kandarian is changing all of that. We select our crops for their benefit to the earth and for their nutritional, cultural and culinary value to humans. We grow plants, herbs and grains to tell rich stories.

What Inspired You To Start Your Company?

My age, 30. I wanted to be my own boss.


Tell us about your products.

Grains, pulses, herbs, spices and botanicals. We grow them because they work well in consort; The grains eat, and the pulses supply organic matter and nitrogen to our soils. The herbs and spices are spread about and form part of our rotation. 


What Does Being A Small-Batch “Artisan” Mean To You?

It means that we don’t do anything “flow-through”. Everything is a batch in a machine, and it comes out. Our processes are not amorphous, they are small and concise. 


What is your favorite small-batch treat?

Fennel pollen! The complexity of it is great to embellish gourmet foods. 


What Drew You To Food?

The fact that there is no food in stores, everything I see is Trisodium Phosphate. I got tired of reading the ingredients list if there are over 4 things listed. 


Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?

My mother. She was a gardener and a wonderful cook. 


What Products Are You Working On Now?

Gluten free grains, including terrestrial rices and crops such as Fonio from Senegal.


Do You Have a Favorite Product?

Ethiopian Blue-Tinge Farro.


Latest Ingredient Obsession?



What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?

Longevity Stew- with nopales, spinach, mushrooms, buckwheat, chicken broth, and a bit of white meat chicken, garlic, ginger, turmeric and pepper.


What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product? 

Michael Pollan


What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other artisans?

Use your ears and mouth in the ratio that they’re on your body. To other artisans: open yourselves like solar panels and satellites, absorb as much as you can and unfold like a butterfly. 


What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire?

I admire Pagnol Bakery in Los Osos, he’s one of the top bakers in California and single-handedly enacted the Cottage Food Law. 


If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?

Armenian food: pilaf, matzoom. 


Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?



What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?

Hiking, reading, exercising, meditating, sleeping. 


What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?

Anything on NPR. 


What is your favorite recipe to make with the product featured in our basket?  

A grain and lentil soup with all 9 essential amino acids (Black Barley/Bean soup- you can substitute in brown lentils). 

Discover Larry's Products In The Box From Chef Patrick Ponsaty