The 2021 Santa Rosa County Farm Family of the Year has been awarded to Wendt Family Farm and Nursery, which has three generations of hard workers and more than three decades of experience.
The 2021 Farm Family includes Earl and Janet Wendt, parents of William Wendt and Vickie Shiver. William Wendt is married to Joy and they have five children and four grandchildren. The Wendts are joined by other family members who also work on their farm, Wayland Nowling and Angela Nowling. The family enjoys participating in the Farm to Town program which provides produce for families on Thanksgiving.
Wendt Farm and Nursery, a Santa Rosa County landmark, has been growing healthy and delicious vegetables for 35 years. It was once located on the Chumuckla Highway before urban sprawl encroached on the farm, forcing the family to relocate it 15 miles north to rural Santa Rosa County. On the farm, three generations of the Wendt family work side by side to produce some of the finest sweet corn, peas, butter beans, locally grown tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon and other fresh produce for customers at the region, wholesale and retail.
Wendt’s commitment to providing the best local produce and a desire to better serve their customers resulted in the construction and opening of a seasonal market located on the site of the original farm, 5191 Chumuckla Highway in Pace .
Growing 50 acres of vegetables in the Florida Panhandle isn’t for the faint of heart, and the Wendt family has demonstrated their commitment to providing nutritious vegetables in all weather conditions.
Beyond the vegetables grown on the farm, the Wendt family also operates a two-acre greenhouse nursery where they have provided seasonal color to the area for more than three decades. Wendt Farm and Nursery is known for growing Christmas poinsettias, Easter lilies, fall garden mums, and spring flowering plants, but few people are probably aware that they also grow wholesale commercial vegetable transplants. which are shipped to commercial vegetable farms throughout the region.
The nursery’s latest endeavor is hydroponic lettuce production where they produce the freshest leafy greens available in local retail markets.