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Are you familiar with moringa, one of 2018’s hottest new superfoods? 

In partnership with UC Cooperative Extension Fresno, Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) is supporting small-scale, Southeast Asian farmers in Fresno County to find new markets for a crop they’ve grown for a long time: moringa. The farmers (and the project) were profiled this spring on KQED's The California Report. The goals for this project are to increase consumer’s awareness of moringa as a crop grown in California, increase sales of California-grown moringa, and thereby enhance the viability of small-scale farmers in the Central Valley.  OCED’s marketing team helped with branding and logo design for the project. 

In case you aren’t familiar with it already, moringa is a highly nutritious superfood that is gaining more and more popularity in the U.S. It made The Washington Post’s 2018 list of “10 trendy foods you’ll soon be seeing everywhere” and Vogue Magazine called it “the new superfood you need to know about”. Moringa is eaten (and sold) in fresh leaf bunches, as dry loose leaves or as dried leaf powder. The bean-like pods of the plant, called drumsticks, are also eaten and sold. Moringa is easily incorporated in a wide range of recipes – salads, soups, smoothies, sauces – as a nutritious garnish or seasoning.

Last week, October 24th, 2018, small-scale Fresno Farmers came together to showcase unique Asian vegetables and fruits such as jujube, lemon grass and moringa.  Farmers and buyers came together for an opportunity to network, learn about each other’s businesses, and form new supplier connections. Tasty samples made with Fresno specialty crops were available by local chefs including: La Jacka Mobile, Teazer World Tea Market, and Ampersand Ice Cream.  All 3 local small businesses were challenge to make new food products using Moringa, Lemon Grass and jujube; all surpassed expectations and created amazing fusion teas, ice cream and cuisine.