Yee Moua’s Path Back to the Land

Yee Moua at Market 2023 Blog

Yee Moua and his wife Chia grew up with agriculture as a part of their lives in Thailand and Laos before emigrating to the United States as refugees in 1989. Since arriving in Minnesota in the 90’s the Moua’s have been serial entrepreneurs, running a print shop, a liquor store, and selling insurance for many years. It wasn’t until Chia insisted on farming 10 years ago that they started Healthy Greens Farm and were able to get back to their agricultural roots. We first met Yee and Chia in 2020 through the firstl year of our LEAFF program. Since then, our partnership has flourished, allowing us to procure over $150K of produce from Healthy Greens Farm through our market access programs.

yee moua leaff 2020

For nearly a decade, the Moua’s had been farming on about 10 acres of rented land in Farmington, MN – a 40-minute drive from their home in Maplewood. But last summer, Yee told us that he had been notified that the landowners would be terminating his rental agreement at the end of the year. Amid growing for us and participating in four farmers’ markets, Yee persevered. Months of searching culminated in an offer to purchase 27 acres in North Branch, adjacent to the Sunrise River. In the fall of 2022, his offer was accepted and the Mouas officially became landowners.

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The land Yee purchased had previously been used to raise cattle, but the fields had sat fallow for almost five years allowing dense grass and weeds to take root. Despite this, the farm boasts many outbuildings, an irrigation well, fencing, and sandy soil – ideal for certain crops, particularly root vegetables. Over the winter, Yee and his wife prepared their primary outbuilding, and with the arrival of spring, they began focusing on crops like green beans, pickling cucumbers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, and kale which we contracted for at the beginning of the year.

yees land nov 2022

Starting over at a new farm has brought its share of challenges. Rows of Yee’s rhubarb were left behind at the Farmington site, and what he was able to transplant struggled to thrive in the dry and sandy soil in his new location. Relocating his three tractors demanded collaboration with a helpful friend and a trailer. Moreover, this summer’s drought conditions cast a shadow, affecting the germination of Yee’s carrot crop and creating uncertainties in fulfilling their contract with Minneapolis Public Schools – a newfound wholesale partnership for the Mouas this year.

chia in the field july 2023

Since we first met in 2020, it’s been an honor to witness the beginning of the Moua’s remarkable journey to land ownership. Working with The Good Acre has helped Yee and his wife to focus on farming as a full-time job. It’s hard work, but as Yee puts it, “farming helps me and my family to sustain a good life” and he believes people should invest more in local food because it is a fresh and healthy choice.


You can source local produce from Healthy Greens Farm and others through our wholesale program. You can find Yee Moua at the Edina Centennial Lakes, Invergrove Heights, Richfield, and Shoreview farmers markets during the growing season.


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