Shoppers can find Hardy’s Farm Market's garden specialties at the farmer's market on Barr Street from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. each Saturday. Hardy's offers tomato, pepper, eggplant, onion, squash and cucumber plants.
And come the second week in July, Hardy's will reopen the popular family market at 4525 Knoll Road in southwest Fort Wayne.
The farm, which was started by Terry and Lori Hardy in 1989, is now being managed by their daughter, Abbie, and son, Mitchell, with the help of sisters Bonnie and Katie Blair. Though the parents now live in Huntington County where they raise corn and soy beans, they’re still very active in the operation.
Vegetables were the focus of the 80-acre farm originally and they were presented to customers under a small tent. Over the years the market added more and more varieties and branched out to include melons.
Mitchell, who has been growing flowers since he was in high school, now has several acres of mixed flowers, including sunflowers, growing in long plastic covered rows that will be ready by mid-July. A long high tunnel structure was built a few years ago and the family plans to erect a greenhouse next year.
“As with most businesses, the quarantine affected the way we could operate,” said Abbie. “We wore masks and still are. We went to pre-order and online sales with curbside pickup. We operated that way through the month of May, but are now closed until mid-July. That will give us plenty of time to get everything in the ground.”
Both Abbie and Mitchell graduated from Purdue University with degrees in agriculture. Bonnie is a sophomore there, also studying agriculture.
Judy Dalman, who came to the farm on May 30, has been a customer for more than 20 years. She bought a couple of plants and told Mitchell she would be back in the summer for some cut flowers and a jar of honey. “Flowers enrich my life and I love the colors,” she said.
The old, rusted frame of the truck their great-grandfather used to take produce to the Barr Street Market decades ago sits in front of the high tunnel like a monument to the Hardys' long agricultural heritage. Abbie says families and high school and college graduates come out just to have their photos taken in front of the truck.
Persons wishing to order plants can learn what is ready by either calling 260-747-4644 or looking up Hardy’s Farm Market on Facebook.