Featured Supplier: Pat & Rachel’s Garden
At Hilary’s Eat Well, we know that every bite has a beginning. From the initial spark of creativity needed to conjure up a new yummy burger, to the moment you find us in the freezer section, we know that the relationships we have along the way make it happen. The Leek Family is one of those special groups of people that help us make it happen. In 2011, Hilary began exploring local sources for organic greens when she can across The Leek Family’s farm. She knew that there was a personal story behind the farm, and a message of inspiration was there, waiting to be nurtured and shared with the world.
A lifelong lover of food and the earth, James Leek was not always a farmer. He spent the majority of his career as a teacher while always appreciating the real food he’d enjoy with his family. In 2009 his twenty year old daughter, Rachel was riding her bicycle in Lawrence, KS when a driver tragically hit and killed her. Through the struggle, the family made the decision to look to the land as a place of inspiration for preserving Rachel’s memory. Rachel’s Garden was established that year, and they began selling their organic produce the Community Mercantile in Lawrence, Kansas.
In March of 2013, James’s son Pat unexpectedly passed away. Again in the midst of tragedy, the family decided to honor his memory, and the business expanded to become Pat & Rachel’s Gardens. At this stage of the business, becoming partners with Hilary’s Eat Well allowed the family to expand to a larger piece of land, and further nourish the crops they care so much about.
I was fortunate enough to take a tour of the Garden earlier this month, and was moved, touched and inspired. It was the perfect, crisp-conditioned fall morning to venture 20 miles down the road to hear their story. The sunshine provided the perfect amount of warmth while commanding color from all the vegetables and greens growing on the ten-acre farm. I couldn’t stop feeling inspired to take pictures and ask questions. There was so much to appreciate.
We are so proud to have such a wonderful relationship with everyone at Pat & Rachel’s Gardens. We hope that next time you enjoy a Hemp & Greens or Root Veggie Burger, that you too will feel connected to the story. Every bite has a beginning…
Learn more about Pat and Rachel’s Gardens here.