Harry and Jackie Hoch and family moved back to their orchard south of Nodine in the summer of 1997 and have been aggressively replanting the old orchard. Hoch orchard has been in the Hoch family since the early 1950’s. Harry Hoch received an Associate degree in Horticulture in 1985 and managed Hoch orchard through 1989. In 1989 Jackie moved to the Twin Cities to complete an internship in Medical Technology. In 1990 Harry and the children joined Jackie in the Metro area. Harry then started working as a Research Plot Coordinator at the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center. While working for the University Harry received a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Pest Management and a Master’s degree in Technical Communications and Sustainable Agriculture. Later in 1990 Jackie completed her internship and Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology and continued to work at Hennepin County Medical Center until 1997 when they moved back to the farm. In 2004, Jackie completed a Masters Degree in Business.
Jackie has since given up a career in Medical Technology to co-manage Hoch Orchard and Gardens with Harry. Daughters, Angi and Missy, helped on the farm and with sales at the farmer’s markets while growing up. Both are on their own now, but they help when they come home.
Harry’s mother, Jackie Senior, invested a good portion of her life to Hoch Orchard. She spent many summer months on the farm helping coordinate the busy family and supervising the maintenance of her many flower gardens. Grandma doesn’t pick apples anymore but she sure would if she could. Grandma passed away on January 25, 2013.
Jack and Mary Ann Redfearn work with us to start Grampa Jack’s Honey. They are now retired from helping on the farm. They are big part of our farm family and are Grandpa and Grandma to many former interns!
We have to include Dan VonArx, who also claims to be retired after working many years on the railroad. Dan grew up on a farm outside Hokah Minnesota. He knows how to drive a tractor on our steep hillsides and he can fix just about anything. We wouldn’t get any work done around here if he didn’t come up two days a week to fix everything we break during the other five days. Dan is an important part of our farm.