Meet the Farmers

Xiong and Christy Lee

Lue and Pha Lee

Working in the Field

 

 

History of the Farm

Like anything grown from seed, Lee’s Fresh Produce had the smallest of beginnings.  In 2001, the Lee Family sowed its first seeds on a 5-acre farm in Kent, Washington, along with big dreams and the love for fresh and healthy food. What began for Lue and Pha Lee as a chance to relive their farming roots and a chance to explore farming as a serious hobby, quickly evolved to something they had a strong passion for. 

Our parents, Lue and Pha, grew vegetables primarily for their increasing family with the surplus be sent to the food bank in the Seattle International District. Our mother was devoted to this cause and volunteered every week to help emphasize awareness against hunger and raise funds for the ACRS Food Bank. After a few years of (relatively) leisurely developing their green thumbs, my father was laid off as the company he worked for for over 20 years decided to downsize. Suddenly he had a lot more time to tend their outdoor sanctuary. 

The next step was to attend several local farmers markets through the week, selling produce out of the back of their van, to continue to grow the business.  They were met with plenty of challenges along the way, which were all a part of the growing pains of a successful business.  Soon the small Honda Rototiller could not keep up with the demands and progression of the rapidly expanding garden. After four years they purchased a small John Deere tractor, and the rest, as they say, was history. The number of loyal customers at the farmers markets continued to grow and more customers were asking for wholesale purchases. Growing up all the Lee children helped on the farm after school and on the weekends. This included planting, weeding, harvesting, rinsing, securing the vegetables, and loading the vans for market days. There was always more to do than there was time to do it in. 

Our family was thrilled to be able to grow healthy food not only for themselves, but for other people in the community as well.

After 5 years, as the garden grew by leaps and bounds, the second generation in the Lee Family, Christy and Xiong Lee, began to run the family business. The farm has now grown from the original 5 acres to about 40 acres and the business expanded further to include delivery to a few local grocery stores. 

Why farming?

The Lee family were always interested in living a healthy and balanced life, of which eating a diet of fresh and nutritious produce is an essential part. We found it difficult to find good quality produce in the grocery store; even the organic offerings often look tired and wilted. We quickly became interested in the subject of food and the politics of its production, and the farm allows us to to do a lot more than just buy organic for ourselves.

Our family is committed to bringing nothing short of the best quality produce to local farmers markets, restaurants, and grocers.  Our customer base grows more and more every year, as people start to realize that buying local is one of the best ways they can help to conserve and become ecologically aware.  Selling at the farmers markets gives us the opportunity to share our passion with many others and have conversations about gardening adventures. Our customers take pleasure in getting to know the people that grow their produce and enjoy discussing firsthand about exactly how their food was grown in a sustainable way that makes a positive impact on both people that eat it and on our planet.

Looking forward, the future for Lee’s Fresh Produce is bright, and the company will continue, as it always has, to focus on providing our valued customers with the freshest and most tasty products, complete information on our farming practices, and fantastic customer service.  Farming is literally in our blood and is our family heritage. We are a little family farm with a big vision and we invite you to experience the difference of fresh locally grown vegetables and herbs from lees Fresh Produce.

3rd generation farmer in training

Growing Philosophy

Our vegetables are grown with the utmost care and love; we strive to provide produce free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.  In everything we do, we use absolutely nothing synthetic or artificial. This process gives our harvest a distinct difference: deeper more vibrant colors, greatest nutritional quality and the long forgotten real flavor of fragrant herbs and delicious vegetables.
 
Our in season produce arrives at the farmers markets each week in the freshest conditions possible, picked either the day of or within the last day.  Our main focus is growing the tastiest varieties available; this includes over 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs.

Our mission is to encourage restoration of traditional farming practices. We aim to better our soils, choose crops that suit our climate and promote healthy plants to prevent pest damage.  We also rotate our crops to balance soil nutrients and plant cover crops to minimize nutrient loss therefore maximizing organic matter in the soil.  Our reward is a rich, living soil that produces a bountiful crop of vegetables. 

By choosing to buy produce from us, you are supporting the tradition of working with the soil and the environment so that the land will be not become depleted, but will instead improve in years to come. You also make the choice to support local farms instead of buying from distributors, big businesses and factory farms, where workers and the environment may be set aside in the name of profit.  For that we thank you because this is truly a splendid experience. We feel a deep responsibility to the land that we cultivate and the people with whom we share the love of healthy foods and sustaining an everlasting environment.

Lee's Fresh Produce - In the News

"Issaquah Farmers Market Rich in Produce, Tulips" Issaquah Reporter - April 24, 2012

"Interbay Farmers Market kicks off Thursday" My Ballard - June 9, 2011

"Greens are Popping Up" Tacoma News Tribune - May 13, 2009

"New Crop of Farmers - Christy Mua" Yes Magazine - February 13, 2009

"Local Market Pillar of the Community" The Puyallup Herald - May 29, 2008