Born and raised on a farm on the western edge of Arendtsville, PA, Ed McDannell helped out on the farm through his high school years. The farm, through the early to mid 1960's raised some livestock in addition to fruit until about 1966 when the raising of livestock was discontinued and emphasis was placed strictly on fruit.
While attending Biglerville High School, Ed was enrolled in the vocational agriculture curriculum. He became interested in growing vegetables, especially sweet corn. As an agriculture project, he grew a variety of vegetables and started selling them. A garden project of 1/3 acre of mixed vegetables and 1/4th acre of sweet corn was grown and cared for with the advise from his father and uncle who were in partnership of the farm.
Upon graduation in 1969 from high school, Ed started working full time for his uncle and father on the farm. Much about fruit growing was learned through working with them in the orchards.
In 1971 Ed married the former Linda Ann Taylor. Linda was raised on a farm north of Bendersville, PA. She helped her dad on both of his farms operating machinery, making hay, tending livestock, combining grain, and general farm work. When they were married, Linda worked as a bookkeeper at the former Gettysburg Shoe Company. In 1974 a daughter, Jennifer was born. Later in 1977 a son, Chad was born, and another son, Todd was born in 1981. Just before Jennifer was born, Linda quit her job at the shoe company to raise a family and help out on the farm.
Shortly after Linda and Ed were married, Ed took on some ground and expanded his sweet corn growing. He and Linda cleared about an acre and a half of old grown up pasture field and planted sweet corn. Ed's father was skeptical on whether they would be able to sell all the sweet corn grown, but through setting up a small stand at the house, Linda selling some at the shoe company, and some wholesale orders, all the corn was sold and a profit was made. This really wetted Ed's appetite to produce a good product and be able to market it successfully so after several years his corn acreage was expanded to about seven acres. The market was also expanded. Since Linda was no longer working away from home, fruit was purchased from Ed's uncle and father and the retail market was starting to grow.
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