Robin + Ross Koda
Brother + sister owner-operators of Koda Farms, Ross + Robin have taken their grandfathers thriving farm into the 21st century. With a focus on purity and quality, Koda Farms produces a line of authentic Japanese style rices, with an eye towards environmental soundness.
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
My brother & I view this as a family legacy to carry on.
Tell us about your products.
Specialized Japanese style rice & rice byproducts, including rice flour. From inception, we’ve been vertically oriented in that we oversee all aspects of production from maintaining our proprietary seed nurseries to farming, to harvesting, drying, milling and processing, & finally packaging. All done on site, on our farm – our dedication to hands-on quality control is atypical in the arena of rice production.
What Does Being A Small-Batch “Artisan” Mean To You?
“Artisan” implies hands-on quality control.
What is your favorite small-batch treat?
Wild foraged cepes or porcini mushrooms! With an expert along of course!!!
What Drew You To Food?
Being raised on a farm, you live and breathe food production & all that it entails.
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
Our grandfather's vision. Promoting brown rice in the 1950s with George Ohsawa, father of the Macrobiotic diet.
What Products Are You Working On Now?
Organic farming of rotations crops, ie fine garbanzos, naturally hulless barley, black-eyed peas...
Do You Have a Favorite Product?
Kendall Foods organic natto
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
Brown rice salad made with our organic Heirloom Kokuho Rose!
What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?
The composer John Cage was a lifelong practitioner of macrobiotics. With brown rice being the primary carb of that diet, I would’ve loved to hear his take on our Heirloom whole grain brown Kokuho Rose.
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business?
“GANBATTE!!!” is an expression based on the Japanese concept of patience, persistence, and determination.
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
Our Fall “New Crop” release rice, at its peak perfection – just cooked, slightly floral bouquet, slight sweet note, tender and hot kernels intact. Topped maybe with a raw egg and a dash of shoyu.
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
Food memory, tempura made to order in a ginormous copper vat in a Tokyo hotel (specifics forgotten). The lacy pieces floating across the surface of shimmering rice bran oil, fragile and crisp.
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the farm?
Taking my 90 year old mother on her bucket list road trips. This past August, we drove to Santa Fe – lovely farmer’s market, the open air Santa Fe Opera, Museum Hill, & regional archeological sites of interest.
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
Silence is preferred. Life doesn’t always need a busy soundtrack…
What is your favorite recipe to make with the product featured in our basket?
Being the farmer/producer, the purist in me appreciates our Heirloom Kokuho Rose simply for its intrinsic qualities – plain steamed is it. That said, it’s perfect in - surprise! - risottos, and also authentic Spanish paella.