r SPRINGVILLE – They’re picked fresh, early each summer’s day, and most if not all the succulent ears of corn seen by mid-morning at local Harward fruit/veggie stands are gone by suppertime.
If not, they’re given to the Utah Food Bank.
“We pick fresh every morning so you’re assured it’s fresh and good,” Jake Harward told Serve Daily. “We choose [to plant] good varieties for the best sweetness.”
Lenard Harward began farming and feeding beef cattle in Springville in 1945. Today, his son Jud, and Jud’s two sons – Lenny and Jake – have expanded the family’s west Springville operation into a large, diversified agri-business.
Jud heads the hay production and marketing division as well as the straw mulching for forest fire reclamation division.
He and Lenny together boss the high moisture corn milling operation.
Lenny handles the agri-spraying division and the DeKalb Seeds operation.
Jake’s work is closest to that of household consumers. He heads the fresh vegetables and produce division, the road side stands, Jaker’s Jack-O-Lanterns each fall, and agricultural fertilizers operations, as well as the annual “Little Hands Farm Camp” in June.
Jake spent a few minutes with Serve Daily one recent sunny summer’s morning to talk about Harward Farms’ roadside stands.
All its acreage is in west Springville, the third-generation farmer said: 180 acres in corn; 50 acres in watermelon and cantaloupe; 20,000 tomato plants.
“It’s a good climate here, good soil, good water,” Jake Harward said. “We’re still farming some of the same ground our grandfather [Lenard Harward] did. There are lots of houses being built but we’re still farming around them.”
The Fastlane variety of sweet corn is being harvested as July flows into August. Harvesting of all Harward’s sweet corn varieties starts in mid-July and ends in late September.
“Our corn varieties produce the best taste and burst-in-your-mouth flavor you can find,” according to the harwardfarms.com website. “Complement your sweet corn craving with great watermelon, cantaloupe and other fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the fertile soils of Springville’s west fields.”
Tomatoes are a little earlier than usual this year, Harward said. They were planted earlier and protected from inclement weather.
“Celebrities are the main variety,” the farmer continued, adding that they grow four varieties of tomatoes total. “Celebrities are a good size, good flavor, not a lot of acid, and we try to eliminate cracking.”
The “cracking” or splitting of a tomato comes from inconsistent watering, Harward explained. “You want to keep moisture the same, a consistent, moist soil.”
The Celebrity variety of tomato also is good for canning, the farmer added.
Harward’s distinctive dark green stands are scattered from South Salt Lake City to Delta, with two stands in Springville, two in Spanish Fork and one in Payson. The harwardfarms.com website includes a map that shows the 25 stands’ locations.
The stands are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
A stop at a Harward stand is worth the time, the farmer said.
“When you buy from one of our stands you’re buying direct from the farmer, and we choose the good varieties for the best sweetness,” Harward said. “The produce is picked fresh every morning, and we’re a local, family-owned company.”