Claire Barlow, left, and her mother Deborah Borel run a 6-acre urban farmstead called Loud House Farms. Photo by Jill Draper
Mother, Daughter Culinary Team Plan Unique Farmer’s Market Events at Loud House Farm
By Jill Draper
A cocktail event with beautiful music, tasty bites and a sunset tour of the land where four generations live is the first offering this spring, on May 20, at Loud House Farm in South Kansas City. A weekly Wednesday farmers market begins at the end of May, followed by a farm-to-table dinner in June.
Deborah Borel and Claire Barlow are a mother-daughter culinary team who run the 6-acre urban farmstead where fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and wild edibles grow, and where goats, chickens, sheep and a pot-bellied pig named Penelope meander in the pasture.
Borel’s parents, now in their mid-90s, still reside in the 1930 farmhouse which they purchased when her father, then president of Jules Borel & Co., wanted to acquire land. Now Barlow and her children share the house with her grandparents, and Borel lives in the caretaker’s cottage near an old stable that has been renovated into a space for yoga classes as well as special events like weddings and dinners. Another event space which once held an indoor swimming pool will be open by early summer.
Located in the Terrace Lake neighborhood, the farm has welcomed visitors from the beginning. A flyer from 1920 advertises an “all high-class show” of bulls and breeding cattle at the Terrace Lake Hereford Park, a two-story cow barn described as “one of the show places of Jackson County.” The flyer suggests that interested parties should take the one-hour train ride from downtown Kansas City. After the auction, it says “Plenty of autos will be at farm for return trip.”
The cattle barn is long gone, replaced by a row of small suburban houses, and the farm is now just a five-minute drive east from the Red Bridge Shopping Center. Terrace Lake still remains. Although manmade, it’s said to be fed by several springs on the property. Borel and Barlow plan to explore the history of the area and decorate the event rooms with old photos. “That’s the next thing on our list,” says the daughter.
Of course their list also includes gardening, orchard-tending, building repairs and cooking. Together they have decades of culinary experience. Barlow worked at the Beer Kitchen and McCoy’s in Westport and until recently prepared food for the downtown Mason Temple as executive chef. Borel co-owned a Country Club Plaza restaurant called Daily Bread and worked for many years at Eden Alley Cafe. Their Loud House farmers market will feature cakes, pies, sourdough bread, egg noodles and other homemade items in addition to produce, free-range eggs and grass-fed beef.
“We come from generations of old school cooks that make food from scratch,” says Barlow, who also comments on how the farm was named: “Let’s just say our family has never been a quiet bunch.”
Right on cue, Borel jumps in to describe a special sold-out dinner held at Loud House last summer called Wild Missouri. “We had rainbow trout, quail, chanterelle and morel mushrooms, foraged greens, mulberry preserves and edible flowers—all local.”
Many of the events at the farm include goats. Their current herd of six should expand by four more when two pregnant goats deliver kids. There will be goat petting when the farmers market opens May 31, goat milk soap for sale and possibly a session or two of goat yoga. “I’m trying to convince my mom that it’s the trendy thing to do,” says Barlow.
After growing up on the farm, she lived in Midtown where she attended culinary school and worked in various kitchens and as a personal chef and caterer. But about four years ago she moved back to work with her mother.
“I thought, let’s try to make something of this awesome gift we have. It’s fun. Things are finally coming together.”