Harker Family Farms and Orchard

7589 E State Road 244
Waldron, IN 46182

765-525-9755

About Us

Joe & Debbie Harker, owners

Married in 1969 Joe and Debbie began farming at this locationJoe & Debbie in 1976 after each received Master's Degrees from Purdue University.  Joe's degree is in Ag Education and Debbie's degree is in Speech Pathology.  Debbie worked as a speech therapist in schools for nearly 30 years and has now retired.  As soon as they moved to the current farm, they planted their first sweet corn patch and garden.  Continuing to raise sweet corn to this day, the varieties planted are continually re-evaluated to find the sweetest corn we can find available.  Dinner table conversations focus on which variety at that meal is the best and should be planted again.  They have also sold sweet corn and other produce at the Shelbyville Farmer's Market and the house since 1976.  

Farm & Orchard transition:  

While raising their 4 children, Jeff, Brian, Julie, and Michelle, the farm was a 200 sow hog operation.  In 2009 the first part of the orchard was planted and in early 2010 the hogs were all sold.  More fruit trees have been planted every year since 2009, which now totals nearly 1200 fruit trees in the orchard.  60% of the trees in the orchard are peach trees, which represents over 90 different varieties.  The orchard is also home to over 50 varieties of apples as well as plum, cherry, nectarine, and apricot trees.

The orchard's first year of full production was 2012; however, 2012 proved to be a difficult year for orchards across Indiana due to a late frost and summer drought. 2013 told a different story for the orchard, with a bumper crop of peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, and apricots being harvested.    Once again Indiana weather hurt the orchard in 2014 with a record setting cold winter the peach trees did not produce any fruit and the other fruits are not as plentiful. 

It is a difficult business and the family strives to provide fresh produce at all times without compromising taste.  With all the varieties of fruit it is hard to keep up, but the family attempts to try all varieties before selling them.  If you ask members of the family, each will have their own favorite variety of peaches. We have a passion for sweet, fresh produce and will work to bring that to our customers on a daily basis.  

In addition to the fruit trees and sweet corn, the family works to plant their vegetable garden at the earliest time possible to provide a full fresh produce experience at the farm stand.  The garden varies each year, but usually includes tomatoes, green beans, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, lettuce, asparagus, and broccoli.  The farm is also home to a large strawberry patch as well as black raspberry, red raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, and grape vines.

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