By Christopher Matthews
As Thanksgiving approaches, the harvest is winding down quickly in our corner of the Hudson Valley. Looking back, 2012 was mostly a banner year for produce (depending on location, of course — a late frost hit some). Despite being horticultural amateurs, our own Empire apple trees played back this local 2012 success with a copious, high quality yield, without too much fuss. (The Empire apple is a cross between a McIntosh and Red Delicious, designed for NY State by the Cornell folks in 1966. It’s a solid, all-around red apple.)
Our bountiful Empire tree
But for the true farming professionals, like Doug and Talea Fincke of Montgomery Place Orchards, situated favorably near the Hudson River in northern Dutchess County, this year was incredibly bountiful, ”one for the ages that we’ll be talking about in our rocking chairs,” said Talea. Especially for apples, one of their main products, representing over 60 different varieties, many of them antique.
Black Twig apples @ Montgomery Place
One of their late-arriving heirloom varieties, the large and comely Black Twig, originally a Tennessee seedling, was a welcome sight at the Montgomery Place farm stand in early November, and especially delicious this year. Continue reading