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Meet the Growers: Zaid Kurdieh at Norwich Meadows Farm

Meet the Growers: Zaid Kurdieh at Norwich Meadows Farm

Just four hours north of New York City is the town of Norwich, NY: home of the ubiquitous Norwich Meadows Farm. Zaid Kurdieh, farmer and owner of Norwich Meadows, stands as a pillar not just for the farm, but for an entire culinary community. As a beloved figure in the New York City food scene, Zaid's journey with farming has brought forth one of the most well-known and respected farmers in NYC. We were able to speak to Zaid during his last day at the Union Square GreenMarket to find out more about his experience with Tokita and the Oishii Nippon Project. 

 Zaid actively engages in trials with many breeders and companies like Tokita. "We take a role in developing seeds by growing [them] out and testing varieties," he shares, highlighting their commitment to cultivating exceptional crops. One of the varieties they are experimenting with is Murasaki Fioretto, a recent addition that Zaid describes as thriving in their environment. Sharing insights into how he grows it, he details the process of using compost and optimal spacing of 14 inches for larger heads.

Something often overlooked in cauliflower production is the amount of waste produced by the foliage—as pointed out to him by his friend and long-time customer, Chef Dan Barber. Cauliflower leaves have long been one of Zaid’s favorite snacks. One of the benefits of Fioretto and Murasaki Fioretto, as he says, is the potential to reduce waste by enjoying the leaves along with the sweet stems. 

When asked about his favorite Tokita variety, Zaid finds it hard to choose. His current favorite, the Sunpeach cherry tomato, has been a beacon of brightness in a season marked by excessive rainfall. 

Reflecting on the essence of farming, Zaid encapsulates it in three words: "We love food." This profound love manifests in every crop nurtured at Norwich Meadows Farm.

Learn more about Norwich Meadows Farm and Zaid's journey with Tokita Seed at, or follow along on Instagram @norwichmeadowsfarm.

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