• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009

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10. & 11.
Steve Hood, BS ’77
Tina Hood, BS ’80
 Westfield, Ind.  •  Profiled: Spring '96

Wholesale greenhouse owners

First, a disclaimer: Purdue Agriculture is not now, nor has it ever been, involved in the business of matchmaking.

Matching people with careers, sure. But romantically linking people is purely a coincidence.

That said, meet Steve Hood and Tina (Walker) Hood. Purdue horticulture professor Allen Hammer, uh, hooked them up in 1980.

“Allen Hammer was always saying, ‘Steve Hood did this. Steve Hood did that. You’ve got to talk to Steve Hood,’” Tina said in their 1996 Connections profile.Steve and Tina Hood

Steve, who graduated three years ahead of Tina, had been working at Heartland Growers, a huge wholesale greenhouse in Noblesville, Ind.

Tina was looking for a job, so she met with Steve, who hired her at Heartland. They married in 1981 and soon after started a small nursery of their own.

The business flourished, and in 1989 it was Tina who hired Steve away from Heartland, and they began working side by side, full-time, at Hood’s Gardens.

“When Tina and I were at Purdue, we each dreamed of having a greenhouse business,” says Steve. “I think we both thought that we would have one large enough to support us and our family, but never one as big as what we have now.”

The staff has grown from three in 1982 to 12 now, with another 12 seasonal employees.

“Over the past 10 years, Tina and I have been blessed beyond measure. Our covered greenhouse area has doubled in size, our outdoor production takes up about 12 acres now, and we have an acre of outdoor shade production area as well.”

“For the most part, it’s been everything we’ve ever dreamed,” Tina adds.

“Our education from Purdue has been extremely valuable to both of us,” Steve says. “The college experience comes at a time of personal growth and exploration. We wouldn’t have given up our time at Purdue for anything, because through that experience we have found a profession that we truly love. Many of the people we met while at Purdue have continued to play an important role in our personal as well as professional lives.”

And for the Hoods, none more than each other.