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 work on a farm while in college. We gardened in Ft. Scott, Kansas on a forty-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. The baby of the family, Angie, an interior design student at KSU, helps us with design and marketing work: on our logo, our farmer’s market display, our labels, our website, on social media, and even on our lounge for the employees at the farm. 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. She continues this year, 2019, to guide our operation at both Overland Park and Brookside Farmers’ Markets as well as serving our newly launched CSA customers.

 

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