History of the Farm
Ard's Farm was founded with two goals in mind: providing quality food to the community in the most responsible way possible, and being good to people. We're proud to say that after three decades, we still strive for those same goals every day.
Beginning as a humble dairy farm, this property has been in the Ard family since 1962. In 1991, Alan, Nancy, and Ray decided to redirect their passion for local agriculture into a new project: a local market where customers could purchase all of their local goods in one place. Thus, Ard's Farm Market was born.
Today Alan and his wife, Kyle, run everything at Ard's with the help of two of their sons, Justin and Ethan. Ard's has grown from a simple farm, to a market with a restaurant and its own catering; and we've evolved into new ventures like public and private events. But year after year, one thing remains the same: it's all about family.
Ard's Farm, for thirty years... and growing!
Since then, a lot has changed. The family has grown... and grown... and grown. Small businesses have seen periods of overwhelming success. And small businesses have gone through tough times and droughts. But through it all, Ard's Farm has continued to grow, adapt, and remain focused on providing quality products for our customers and friends.
Great food can only be raised sustainably in a system that respects the resources that are available. At Ard’s Farm we believe that by treating our soils properly, we will be able to provide our customers with great, wholesome, sustainably produced food for generations to come. We practice 100% No-Till farming, and are slowly bringing animals back onto the farm to incorporate grazing into our system. We respect our soil so that we can continue to provide fresh food far into the future.
Along with our numerous fields, we've introduced a secondary area for growing all year round: our greenhouse!
Our greenhouse is currently a work in progress. We converted half of an old dairy cow bedding area to a greenhouse in 2016. This test-run was a great way to experiment and decide it was time to take the plunge and set up a greenhouse that would allow our customers access to the freshest produce year round. In the Fall/Winter of 2017 we built the Greenhouse at Ard’s Farm. After careful consideration of the many different growing systems, we installed an aeroponics system that allows us to combine the best of hydroponics with vertical, space saving designs.
Meet the Farmers
Alan, along with his parents Ray and Nancy, established the original "Ard's Farm Market" in 1991. Since that time, Alan has taken over the business and has watched it grow leaps and bounds for over 30 years. While many owners do not have a hand in the day-to-day operations in their business, that is what sets him apart from the rest. Alan knows his employees on a first-name basis and even has nicknames for most!
He was around for the initial building of Ard’s market, the day they sold the cows, the addition on to the market, the addition of the restaurant, and has helped with the most recent 2017/2018 renovations. His love has always been the outdoors, though. He focuses mainly on the farming here! Alan is passionate about producing food that is grown in healthy soil, using a no-till process. “No-till allows earthworms and other beneficial insects to live undisturbed in the ground. It has definitely been a part of our success in farming.”
On the other end of things, he still enjoys cooking. Alan spearheads creation of the many smoked products at Ard's, from our smoked ham, bacon, and cheeses, to our famous chicken barbecue days! He travels offsite to weddings, family reunions, birthday parties and even brew festivals; smoking ribs, pork belly, and more! Alan loves connecting with the public and telling the story of where we are at today!
Growing up at Ard’s, farming was the name of the game for Ethan as the son of Kyle and Alan Ard. He has been around almost as long as Ard’s has! At the age of 12 he started helping where he could around Ards. He was a crucial corn maze employee growing up, who laid the maze out for many years. During his high school days he could also be found in the market as a cash register worker. From there, he decided to pursue college at Bloomsburg University, graduating in 2014 with a business management degree. As a member of the family, he decided to try something new before committing to the family business. He worked in construction for two years prior to realizing that Ard's was where he belonged.
In 2016, Ethan jumped on board the Ard’s crew, taking on more responsibilities than ever! He is now, our handy man and second farmer! He assisted with renovations to the restaurant in 2017 and worked his magic again renovating the market in 2018. Ethan is also the brains (and brawn) behind our greenhouse, and oversees the operation and production of produce all year round. Let’s not forget where it all began though! As Alan's right hand man (or "partner in crime," depending who you ask) Ethan is an integral part of the Ard's team!