Schmidt Farms Stays in the Family After Auction
By Ro Morse, West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Most of the 95-year-old family-owned and operated Schmidt Farm remains in the family following an auction in December.
Inquiries concerning results of the auction of Schmidt Farms in early December prompted West Kentucky Star to contact the family to learn what the future holds for the business.
The cousin of Dutch and Charles Thurman left the auction with his heart's desire... ownership of the family home, orchards, market, greenhouses, pumpkin express (the wagon used to haul visitors to and from the pumpkin patch) and about 45 acres, including the lake.
Their cousin, who is in his mid-thirties, plans to live in the family home with his wife and two young children, Following some needed renovations, they plan to move to the familiar home. He is a mechanical engineer by trade, but his passion has been farming, specifically the family farm where he has worked since he was in the 7th grade.
And yes, he plans to do something with the popular market, but at this time there is no time frame for reopening.
Dutch Thurman said, "He has been working with us for a long time and has always expressed an interest in carrying on the tradition, but we don't know exactly what that will mean. We're just glad it is staying in the family and look forward to seeing what he will do. It will not be called Schmidt Farms Market but it will still be owned by a family member."
The rest of the land was purchased by a local businessman. The inventory of canned foods, antiques and all kinds of memorabilia were purchased by several individuals.
The Thurman couple (Charles' wife Dutch is one of the three Schmidt sisters) made a life-changing decision last autumn when Charles had brain surgery, following a fall earlier in the year. He is recovering very well but still has a few physical restrictions as he heals.
Charles and Dutch are genuinely retired now that the farm has been sold. He continues working with his bees, restoring some of the hives. She is spending more time painting. They walk more and are adjusting to not having to get up around 4 each morning. However that's a habit that is proving hard to break, especially for Charles. He continues to rise way before the sun comes up. Dutch says, "I'm learning to take advantage of this time in the mornings and getting a little later start." They plan to travel, visit friends and relatives and revisit some of their favorite spots, along with some new adventures.
Schmidt Farms is a popular Paducah tradition, and as time goes by the community will be watching with anticipation for the market to reopen in whatever shape and form the young Schmidt cousin and his family create. We all wish them well as they carry on the family era of providing fresh fruits and vegetables to our western Kentucky region.