Ike grew up gardening, and at a young age was selling his vegetables at a tailgate market near his home. As a teen, he worked for a small local orchard that grew dwarf trellised trees. That experience inspired his goal to have his own orchard someday.
Ike graduated from Penn State and has become well known in this area for his expertise in growing vinifera wine grapes on innovative trellis systems and for his knowledge and experience growing and breeding unique fruits and vegetables. He has taught classes at Longwood Gardens, and is a speaker at various seminars and conferences. He has hosted several large grower meetings at the farm.
Ike spends his “leisure” time reading, cooking, and learning more about the fruit and vegetable growing industry. His “hobby” is developing new varieties of fruits and vegetables – they are his babies!
From fellow orchardist Ed Fackler: “You’re the only person I’ve ever met who had apples shooting out of your fingertips like fireballs.“