Meet the vendor: See’s Family Farm

Meet the Vendor: See’s Family Farm
Posted on 06/07/2018
See Vue and Kao Chang on See's Family FarmMeet See Vue and daughter Kao Chang of See's Family Farm, located in Basehor, Kansas. This longtime farming family emigrated from Thailand to the United States when Kao was four years old. The family spent time farming in Michigan and Arkansas before Kao landed in Kansas City, where her mother eventually joined her and they launched See's Family Farm. 

We recently visited See’s Family Farm, nestled in the outskirts of Basehor. The 100-acre property is beautiful and lined with trees. See and Kao currently lease half the land to another farmer, while they continue to expand crops on their 50 acres.

See and Kao grow various fruits, flowers and vegetables. Among the many crops we saw growing in the field were sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, Thai basil, holy basil, purple and white potatoes, Chinese spinach, Thai grape tomatoes, radishes, chayote, Japanese squash, beets, banana peppers, kale, carrots and more. A particularly prized crop is their water spinach, which has a lighter flavor than domestic spinach, but is interchangeable in recipes. See plants multiple crops together, allowing for different harvest times on the same plot of land. Dill is planted among tomatoes, carrots with kale, and so on. 

We sampled a leafy green called sour leaf, which Kao described as having a Granny Smith apple flavor. We’d never tasted anything quite like it!

They use no chemicals on the crops, applying natural soap instead of pesticides. One key to their produce is an all-natural fertilizer developed by an uncle that features banana and pineapple. The rest of the ingredients are a closely held family secret. 

See says farming here requires less manual labor then in Thailand, though much of the work is still done by hand. Kao purchased a shiny new tractor for her mother this year to replace the old one that was constantly breaking down and in need of repairs. Kao says her mother does most of the work on the farm, often waking at 3 a.m. to get things going.

The farm has its challenges. Because there is no water system on the land, Kao and See rely largely on rainwater and are developing a rain retention system to help during dry spells.

Stop by the market Saturday or Tuesday morning to say hello to Kao Chang and enjoy some of her beautiful produce and flowers!

Published on June 8, 2018