Indian Garden Farms in Hebbville, NS began back in 1856, when Abraham Hebb started the family farming tradition. He then passed the farm on to his son, William, who added a cranberry bog, which now exists as Canada’s oldest working cranberry operation.
The farm continued to be passed down from generation to generation: William passed it on to his son Fletcher, who passed it on to his son Gerald. Currently, the farm is run by Gerald’s son Glen, with help from his wife Marilyn and their children Matthew, Colin, and Heidi.
IGF has now been in the Hebb family for several generations, with Matthew being the sixth generation.
Part of IGF's display at the farmers' markets.
Matthew sets up their large booth bright and early on Saturday mornings (with the help of Emma, who works at the farm’s storefront) to sell a variety of fruits and vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, gourds, apples, pears, cranberries, and more.
Matthew said his favourite things to grow are apples, which IGF sells in a variety of different types. “They bring so much variety in different flavours, and they taste great.”
Of course, there are a number of challenges that come with large-scale farming. “The biggest challenge is that there are so many challenges,” Matthew said. “Being at the mercy of the weather, dealing with pests, frost… there’s so many challenges.”
The entrance to IGF's corn maze. Courtesy of IGF.
During the spring and summer, IGF offers U-picks for strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The strawberry U-pick is the farm’s most popular event - Matthew said on the first U-pick day earlier this year, there was a line-up of cars going down the road of people waiting to go in.
When they can, IGF hosts a number of fall-themed events, including hayrides, open farm day, a haunted corn maze, and a Halloween party for children. This year, you are able to visit the farm and try your hand at the corn maze on your own, as well as pick your own pumpkin from the farm’s U-pick pumpkin patch.
Check out Indian Garden Farms' booth at our in-person market on Saturdays. To always know which vendors are going to be at the market, subscribe to our weekly newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FFp5yF