Faces of Groundswell: Ye Myint
Ye Myint grew up in Myanmar, where he and his father grew tropical vegetables and fruits on a four acre diversified farm. Ye and his family came to the United States in 2002, and lived for 8 years in South Carolina before moving to Ithaca in 2010. He has been running a sushi company on the Cornell University campus and a few other local sites for the past four years, and although Ye says that he has been able to make a modest income making sushi— he is very eager to move beyond the kitchen to earn his income outdoors.
Now Ye has three children, the oldest of whom is studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the youngest of whom is 3 years old. By the time his oldest child graduates from college, Ye hopes that he will be able to make a majority of his income from farming and already has some ideas on how he would expand the enterprise. Having strong connections among the sushi chefs in the region, Ye plans to grow crops that he knows are in high demand amongst sushi chefs, including cucumbers and carrots. In addition Ye is focusing on traditional Burmese crops including Gongura, a leafy plant in the hibiscus family which is widely used in South Asian/Indian cuisine. It is very hard to find Gongura in Central New York, and Ye hopes to be one of the first to offer it to local Burmese families from Ithaca and Syracuse.
Ye has the summer off from sushi making, and takes the time to focus on his farming enterprise. He gets a lot of help from his 20 year old son Mo, an engineering student at RIT, and other family members. We’re so happy to have Ye and his family at the Incubator Farm!