Green Gate Family Farm was started in 2010 by Ken and Kate. They have invested significantly in the infrastructure of their farm- a new added a new well and an in-ground irrigation system; established several new growing fields; installed lots of new fences and done fence repairs; built two high tunnels (both 30'x96') and a heated greenhouse (30'x46').
The latest project was to complete a significant upgrade and remodeling of the metal barn that now has new floors and walls (about 1200 square feet) and where they added electric power, running water, extensive fruit and produce handling and processing areas and equipment, and a walk-in refrigerator.
Green Gate Family Farm believes strongly in a 'soil first' understanding and philosophy of farming and food production, and our annual soil tests have shown good improvement in our soils. We entered the transition period required for Organic Certification immediately in 2010 (this requires functioning under all the regulations of being organic, without calling your farm organic), and after the three year transition period was completed, Green Gate Family Farm was officially Certified Organic by the State of Oklahoma's Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in 2013. We have remained Certified Organic and continued to strongly support the USDA National Organic Program since then.
Our personal goals include safe, healthy food for our table, as well as for our customers, and a farm property that fits in with the ecology of the land we live on. We are striving to be a sustainable, ecologically friendly farm, and a successful farm business. We believe in building a strong food system and are proud members of the Kansas City Food Hub, a cooperative of farmers working together to sell into the regional food system.
We really like to integrate our agricultural systems utilizing the resources that are available to us.
Sharon Autry is farmer and steward of Herdsman House Farm LLC a small specialty crop operation located on the greater Historic Martin Farm on the south side of Hillsdale Lake in Miami County Kansas. She was raised in rural Missouri where she developed a deep appreciation for the relationships between humans and their natural world and humans in community with fellow humans.
Sharon holds an MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Pittsburgh State and a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State. After many successful years working for Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, National Park Service and Kansas City Art Institute, she got down to the business of realizing her life-long dream of becoming a farmer. She began farming in 2018 as a Growing Growers KC apprentice at Moon on the Meadow Organic Farm in Lawrence Kansas.
Sharon's farming education continued at KC Farm School where she was farm director from March 2019 through November 2020. In September of 2019 she relocated from mid-town KC to rural Miami County Kansas to establish Herdsman House Farm LLC in March of 2020. She received a Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture from Johnson County Community College in May of 2020 and has been engaged in specialty crop production using sustainable farming practices for four years.
Sharon is committed to conservation and community. Her farming practices are focused on building soil health and imitating the patterns and preferences of nature. Her marketing goals are to provide equitable access to safe healthy nutritious local food to her community. Farming is the thread the calling that weaves together Sharon's passions for environmental stewardship community building social advocacy art history teaching and learning.
Pat & Rachels Gardens mission is to establish a healthy, sane business which produces excellent quality food for the Olathe and Greater Kansas City area and to share our ideas and research so others may benefit. The Leek family has been gardening and cooking good food for years. Gardening and farming is a way of life and a wise teacher. Though I supported my family as an educator and not as a farmer, home-grown food and the rural life allowed us to provide a healthy environment for our children. We lived in Ft. Scott, Kansas for twelve years on a forty-acre farm where we raised all but three of 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 where we put up our first hoop house and small greenhouse. 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 designer for BRR Architecture, helps us with design, marketing, and 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. She begins her fourth year with us this season. We sell at the Overland Park and Brookside Farmers’ Markets and serve others through our Organic CSA.
In addition to our Certified Organic Farm, we have a Certified Organic, state licensed kitchen where we produce a wide variety of popular products. Having a doctorate in curriculum and instruction trained me in the value of research. We have been an active partner in the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program of the USDA. This grant program encourages new ideas to be tried and research findings to be shared. See more about our research under the Processing + Research tab on this website.