On a wooden table in Gregg Hardy’s kitchen are a handful of cherry tomatoes.
They come from the garden behind his East Walnut Street home that his wife tends, caring for fish in a small pond and cultivating an orange tree, where a single unripe fruit hung one day in August.
While she will spend a day coaxing flowers to grow, Hardy focuses his own labor on the interior — putting in bathrooms, widening door frames and shaping cabinets.
He bought his home for $15,000 in 2003, property records show. He said he put $20 down on it, and spent several years driving down from New York on weekends to fix it up. He is now entrenched in a neighborhood he believes has remade itself into an area families can call home.