Meg and Nathan Huyck own Huyck Farms. It’s been in Nathan’s family for years - remember Schmidt Farms? Meg is also a perfusionist (yeah, I didn’t know either!). They have two precious children and are always busy, busy, busy! This sweet couple met at a roller derby bout and then again at church the next day…the rest is history. iMeet this fun, farming family.
Welcome to iMeet, Meg and Nathan. First things first…how do you pronounce your last name?
It's pronounced “Hike”
Tell us about the Huyck family…
Meg: I was an Army brat, and we moved around a lot when I was little. I was born at Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas City, Missouri, then we moved to Alexandria, Virginia, while my dad worked at the Pentagon. Then Dad was stationed in Belgium and Nashville. Our final stop was northwest Arkansas where my dad retired after 26 years with Army Intelligence.
I spent most of my growing up years in beautiful northwest Arkansas. I went to college at a Christian college, John Brown University, in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where I majored in Biology - thinking I wanted to be a doctor. By Junior year Id changed my mind and after my B.S. in Biology, I got my A.A.S in Respiratory Therapy. I felt God led me to the program - I grew up with chronic, severe asthma and was hospitalized often as a child.
I worked as an RRT for two years and then attended Rush University in Chicago and received my Master's in Cardiovascular Perfusion. In Perfusion, you move where the job is because it's so specialized. I operate the heart-lung machine used during open heart surgery. I got a job in Paducah, so I moved here knowing not a soul and nothing about what the city offered. But I soon came to love it, though I miss my family in Arkansas so, so much.
I started roller derby with the Radioactive City Rollergirls (The Atomics) right after I moved here and at my first bout on a Saturday in September 2009, I saw Nathan in the stands. The next day I visited St. Paul Lutheran where I saw Nathan again. He saw me, too. We had our first date December 31, and we were married September 11, 2010.
Nathan: I was born and raised in Paducah and went to school at Lone Oak. I attended WKCTC for two years, then to UK for three years and got a degree in mechanical engineering. I almost changed to horticulture after bombing my first test but decided to stick with it and made it through.
Tell us about your family...
Meg: We have a six-year-old boy named Samuel (Sam) Rhame Huyck and a four-year-old girl named Abigail (Abby) Anne Huyck. They are the cutest and so creative. They make life more fun, and busy, and messy (ha ha), but they are the biggest blessings in our lives, and I thank God for my babies.
Sam will be in first grade and Abby in preschool at Concord Elementary in the fall. Sam loves to play with Legos and trains- building awesome and unique tracks every day. Abby plays “house” with her baby dolls and “strollers”. If they're not at school or spending the day with a grandparent, they are at the farm and market with us.
We recently acquired a farm cat. After some TLC and food and water, he has stuck around. Samuel named him Max - Max the black cat. Providentially, now we have an actual black cat for the famous "Black Cat Cave." We may someday have "pet" chickens and cows but not yet.
Tell us about Huyck Farms...
The farm was started by Nathan's great grandparents. Then it went to his great aunt and uncle, then their daughter, Dorothy (Dutch) Thurman, and now it's ours. It was Nathan's dream to take over the family farm since he started working here when he was fourteen years old. Nathan even bought the house across the street from the farm and planted a peach, and apple orchard there.
When the farm went up for auction in December 2016, Nathan's dream came true. We bought the farm and the home, and as much as we could keep here as possible. We renovated and moved into Great Aunt Dorothy's and Uncle Bud's house that summer and opened the farm back up in October 2017 as Huyck Farms.
Last Fall, we grew pumpkins, gourds and winter veggies, we made the famous fresh-pressed apple cider, we had a corn maze, we had the “Black Cat Cave” for kiddos, and we had tractor rides to the pumpkin patch on the weekends. Then we sold apples, cider, veggies, and old-fashioned candy once pumpkin season was over. We also had "Cider with Santa".
This fall we'll have even more home-grown fresh produce to sell and mums galore that we just recently planted. This past winter, we planted a ton of seeds and grew lots of flowers and a large variety of heirloom tomato and pepper plants. We sell those as well as fresh produce and eggs.
We've planted tomatoes, peppers and squash. We truly are trying to continue the tradition of Schmidt Farms. We want people to "take a hike to Huyck Farms." We invite everyone to come see what we have to offer, as well as love and support this small family farm.
What vegetables and fruits are available now?
We currently sell watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, apples, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, all kinds of onions (Vidalia are my favorite), sweet potatoes, Idaho Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, farm fresh free-range eggs, and local honey. We try to buy and sell what's yummy and what's as local as possible depending on the season. And, as what we grew produces, we'll sell our own "Huyck-grown" varied produce, too.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time...What's that? I feel like I don't have any free time anymore. But if the opportunity presents itself, I love camping, canoeing, hiking, biking. In college I went caving, canoeing, or rappelling nearly every weekend and I miss it - I love the outdoors. I also love taking my kiddos to the park and date nights with my husband.
Nathan loves the Atlanta Braves. He watches as many of their games as possible, and he enjoys going to their games whenever it works out (like once every two years).
Any vacation plans this summer?
I'll be taking the kids to South Haven, Michigan on Lake Michigan this summer. It's such a neat town with really cool playgrounds and people biking everywhere. I have aunts and uncles there, and it's my happy place - stress-free, comfortable, and fun. Nathan sadly won't be able to go with us instead he'll be keeping the plants alive and the market open.
What's your favorite herb and why?
Lime Basil - love it! Smells amazing. It would be so good in so many recipes - a taste of citrus with a basil bite at the end. It would be good in lemonade and salsas and homemade Thai food.
Would you rather shop in a mall or online?
I love a good deal and I buy some things online, but my go to is thrift stores. St. Vincent Thrift Store is down the road from us and is my favorite. Anytime I need anything (except food), I go there first and they often have it.
I know everyone at iList is super excited that Huyck Farms is open for business. We’re glad the farm is still in the family, and we look forward to shopping all your locally grown goodies this fall. Thanks for sharing your story on iMeet this week.