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Prospect Hill Orchards Celebrates 200 Years of Family Farming

200 years of family farming

For a farm to celebrate a bicentennial anniversary, it represents generations of family, willing to work hard and persist. Some years the farm thrives, money is made and invested and the farm moves forward. Some years you dig in and pray that you can keep the farm afloat. New ideas are tried, old ideas abandoned and then revived with a modern twist. Always there is the land and the family.

In 1817 Nathaniel Clarke arrived from Cornwall, NY and purchased a self-sufficient farm in Milton. Over the next hundred years, the area farmers began to specialize in berries, grapes and tree fruits. Beginning in the 1860's the Hudson River and steam power offered the local fruit industry a fast, reliable transportation system to serve the huge market of New York City.

By the 1920', apples became the premier fruit because they were less vulnerable to the ups and downs of weather and changing labor markets. The Clarke family farm changed right along with the majority of other local farms and apples were king.

READ MORE: Local U-Pick Orchards

The Clarke family has re-diversified the farm, and now grows cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, apples, pears and many summer berries.

Four generations work together: Leonard Clarke at 99 still dispenses wise advice, Steve and Judy Clarke, Pamela Clarke Torres and Bradley Clarke manage the day to day operations, and Nathaniel Torres, age 12 has begun to work this summer.

The values of stewardship to the land and dedication to the family are lived out in the daily work of the farm.

This year, the Clarke family celebrates 200 years of farming and family with a huge Bicentennial Celebration on the farm for customers, family and friends.

READ MORE: 200 year celebration!

There will be demonstrations and displays of family and farm history. The event will feature some hands on activities to watch including a wool spinner because the original farm had a cottage industry of wool carding, spinning and weaving. We will be pressing cider with a hand crank cider press, everyone can help! We always have a hayride  and apples, Bosc and Asian pears and pumpkins available. Fresh apple cider, homemade baked goods and apple cider donuts are favorites of our customers

Come celebrate 200 years of a successful family and their local homegrown business on September 23 and 24 from 10am-4pm. Need more information? Call 845-795-2383 of Click HERE