Gene Wild knows a lot about apples. He has an amazing 800 varieties on his 10-acre farm in Zionsville, Indiana; and about 3 dozen pear varieties as well. The orchard was started in 1985, and Gene began selling at farmers markets in 1990 (starting in Noblesville) and in 2001, Thursdays at 38th and Meridian. They began coming to the BRFM in 2006.
In addition to the tree-ripened apples and pears that are their specialty, Wild’s also has a large garden to provide produce before the apples ripen. They emphasize onions, garlic, and potatoes; and we have seen a wonderful array of tomatoes and peppers at their booth this season.
Assisted by David Boots, Wayne Bausman, and sometimes Wyatt Long, Gene finds that the Market is the best way for him to bring his extensive apple “collection” to the public. “We are very pleased with the make-up of the BRFM and how it is run. We enjoy the atmosphere with the customers, and the cooperation among the vendors,” he says.
Just ask him about his apple varieties and you will find Gene warming to his subject. He is highly regarded among his peers for his knowledge about apple varieties and apple history. You can find him each Saturday morning at the Market. He is the white-bearded man with the glasses, gladly sharing his wisdom — and his apples.