Recipe from the Kahl Family of Kahl Farm
I talked with the Kahl family last Thursday and came up with a list of ingredients for good market recipe.
Getting ready for a market takes a lot of work, as you can imagine, and the Highlandtown Farmers Market on Thursday evenings isn’t the only one the Kahl Family participates in! They also go to the Bel Air Farmers Market every Saturday morning, from 7-11.
“We get up at 4:30 (a.m.), and a lot of times, you don’t get to bed til 1:00, 2:00 in the morning,” said Sharon Kahl, who farms with her husband, Mike. “That one’s a big market, so we’re picking all day Friday and well into the night.”
1/4 lb endurance
“Fighting the traffic!” In the middle of helping a customer, Mike Kahl called it out without any hesitation when asked about the most challenging part of the market process. Mike is a fifth-generation farmer and his 108-acre farm, located in Delta PA, is about an hour drive from Highlandtown.
Sharon and Sierra, their 13-year-old daughter, agreed, but added one more thing.
“The heat” they both said in unison.
“When it’s really hot and humid, it’s just miserable,” said Sharon.
What’s the worst heat they’ve had to endure?
“Probably the first market here,” Sierra recalled, looking to her mom for confirmation.
But, they perservered. The high for the opening market day was 105, and they still showed up the next week!
1 ton vegetables
Here’s an obvious one, but you gotta have lots of veggies to be a good Farmers Market farmer. What exactly does Kahl Farm grow?
“Just about every vegetable,” said Sharon, with Sierra laughing in the background.
1 tablespoon friendliness
Interacting with all kinds of people is a big part of being a Farmers Market farmer, so friendliness is key, both Sharon and Sierra agreed.
Varied knowledge about produce and language barriers are just some of the things that take patience and understanding, they explained.
According to Sharon, being good with people is the most important, and, personally, her favorite part of being at Farmers Markets.
“I think if you’re friendly with them, that’s your biggest draw-in for people,” she said. “They know they can come to you and not get snapped at.”
3 teaspoons teamwork
Having a successful market is a family affair and team effort for the Kahl family. 13-year-old Sierra, who’s been helping on the farm since kindergarten, is good with the numbers; Mike: he’s the muscle.
“He’s very strong!” Sharon said while laughing. “And tall so he can reach things high.”
And Sharon? She’s keeps things in perspective as the jokester of the group.
“She always has the bright side,” said Sierra, smiling, but rolling her eyes. “On Saturday... at 6 in the morning!”
I looked over at Sharon; she just kept laughing.
dash of support (from you!)
It’s not an easy job to keep a small business going. Farmers like Kahl and all small business owners rely on support from residents like you to shop local. So stop by the market this week- say hi to the Kahl family, buy some fresh, locally grown produce, and do some shopping on Highlandtown’s vibrant Main Street!
written by Katie Wollman, Highlandtown Farmers' Market volunteer