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Pahl Farms: Six Generations Strong

by | Dec 26, 2019 | Market News

(Pahl Farms 2020 CSA season enrollment begins January 2nd!)

Dating back to the early 1900’s, Frank Pahl started Pahl Farms. His son, John, moved the operation down to the river bottoms in Bloomington after helping construct the Long Meadow Bridge (aka the old Cedar Bridge). Here they farmed potatoes, asparagus, sweet corn, peppers and more.

In 1930 Leo Pahl took over the farm. Leo married in 1933 and had 5 children, Wayne being the oldest. In 1942 Leo was shot in a hunting accident and paralyzed from the waist down, leaving 9 year old Wayne in charge of the farming operation. With an outpouring of help and support from family and neighbors Wayne kept the farm alive.

Wayne Pahl was lucky enough to find a saint of a woman (Joanne), married her in 1959 and had 4 (surviving) children throughout the years.  Joanne still spends time working in the greenhouse on occasion.  Wayne and Joanne started farming land in Eagan, Burnsville and Apple Valley in 1963 and in 1979 they started moving the operation south of the river into Apple Valley.  They often contemplated whether or not it was the right decision as back then there would be maybe one car that would drive by in a day.  In 1980 farm acres surpassed 400.  Wayne and Joanne Pahl were named Dakota County Farm Family of the year in 1999.

Gary Pahl, the oldest son of Wayne and Joanne, and his sister Missy (Lynn) opened Pahl’s Market in 1982, selling produce out of the back of a semi truck.  In 1983 Lynn moved on and Brian Pahl stepped in to partner with Gary.  The first pole barn was constructed in 1983 and was used to store tractors and sell produce out of. We started selling annual flowers in 1988 and bought the first portable greenhouse in 1989.  It wouldn’t be until 1995 that the first permanent greenhouse was built and between 1996 and 2004 at least one greenhouse was constructed every year.  In the year 2000 farm acres surpasses 1000.  Gary and his beautiful bride Jane married in 1988 and had two children, Jack being the youngest.

Jack Pahl graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 and although he has been farming and helping in the greenhouse since a very young age he officially enters the business as the sixth generation. We also started our CSA program in 2014 and today we sustainably farm a little over 1200 acres, approximately 800 acres in vegetables and 400 acres in soybeans and field corn.  At Pahl Farms, we know the importance of land and take great pride in our ability to care for the land so that it provides for future generations to come.

Pahl Farms: How (& Why) We Grow

There will always be a debate as to whether sustainable farming or organic farming is better. We feel that the practice of the farmer and how he/she manages the land is the single most important aspect. Whether organic or sustainable, the principles a farmer follows in how they grow and care for the land ultimately determines the health of the land they farm and the quality of the food they produce.

Our goal is to provide the safest and highest quality of produce possible for our customers. Pahl Farms practices a method called sustainable agriculture. This approach produces a safe method for our food supply chain and an environmentally friendly solution to our ecosystem.  Sustainable agriculture is the key to our success in providing a great product at a reasonable price. We consistently scout our greenhouses and fields twice weekly and determine the thresholds of the targeted pests before we apply any pesticides and when we do apply pesticides we apply them at a minimal rate that is still effective. We are strong proponents of safety for our consumers and the environment, Pahl Farms is USDA Harmonized GAP certified and Food Alliance Certified.

Our produce at Pahl Farms is all non-GMO and we provide a diverse and abundant food supply for a variety of bee species.  We do not use any neonicotinoids on any nectar producing plants or vegetables. Our beekeeper is a strong proponent of having a healthy environment for his bees. We generally have 150 hives spread out in our fields to help pollinate our crops. Not only do we use bees but we also use beneficial insects to help combat the problem pests. By being sustainable we focus on the health of our plants, soils, environment and most important our customers.

Our practices are of the utmost importance, and we do not take these lightly. We feel that it is our job as your provider to not only uphold our promise, but educate the consumer in all aspects of the farming industry. If you have any additional questions please feel free to email Jack Pahl at jack@pahls.com. As always, we look forward to providing you with safe and sustainable produce.


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