Our Mission

The Leek family has been gardening and cooking good food for years.  Gardening and farming is a way of life, and it has always been a family affair for us.  Though I made my living as a school teacher, my wife and I gardened in Vinland, Kansas and I worked on a farm while in college. We gardened in Ft. Scott, Kansas on a sixty-acre farm while we raised our children.  We also raised chickens and pigs and milked everyday.  Our team of Belgian draft horses, Will and Appetite, completed our little farm. We moved to Olathe, Kansas in 1988 but continued to garden. Son Tom and I started a gardening business on two acres following Eliot Coleman’s lead and his work with hoop houses. Our first wholesale buyer was the Community Mercantile in Lawrence. After I retired from teaching in 2012, we expanded the business when my son Ernest purchased a ten acre farm for us to work. Naming it after two of my children who died in 2008 and 2013, Pat and Rachel’s Gardens was born. We earned our USDA Organic Certification in the spring of 2013. Our daughter, Esther, and her husband, Rob, helped grow the business. Daughter Jane served as assistant manager of this organic business in 2017.  Jane, who speaks Italian as well as Spanish, liked to say “we are SOL, solar, organic, and local.”  “Sol” is also the Latin word for the sun. Tom, who lives just down the road mows for us. The baby of the family, Angie, an interior designer at BRR architecture, helps us with design and marketing work. She designed our logo, our farmer’s market display, our labels, our website, and helps on social media. In 2018 we welcomed Catherine Sercer who brought her expertise in growing vegetables to be our farm manager.  Her hard work and attention to detail have improved the variety and quantity of our offerings. Catherine left to join a convent in France in October of 2023. Will Daniels is our full-time cook, and his genius in the kitchen has given us many loyal fans. Our work to help discover ways to improve the bottom line of small farms was aided by three SARE grants (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) and one USDA Value-Added Producer Grant. It has been my pleasure to work with the local educational community--Johnson County Community College's Sustainable Ag program, K-State Olathe and University of Missouri Extension services by sharing our knowledge and giving tours and talks to their members. Our latest experiment entitled "The farm as a homeschooler's classroom" is working with local homeschooling families to provide an educational experience that only a direct personal contact with the soil, hard work, and homegrown food can provide.