This year, Montgomery Place Orchards enters its 29th season as a family-run farm.
Doug, Talea, Adam and Caroline follow a long line of tenants dating back to the 1700s, upon the same land purchased in 1802 by Janet Livingston Montgomery who created a commercial nursery. Though the historic estate’s proprietors have changed through the decades, the orchards have always been a steadfast feature of the Hudson River property. Today, the land is owned by Bard College.
In the 1930s as the automobile made travel through the countryside more accessible, farmers began pulling wagons up along the road to sell their produce. Montgomery Place’s Violetta Delafield decided to establish her own roadside market, called the “Wayside Stand,” “intended to spread a good example of good taste so badly needed where goods were sold along the highways.” The resulting building was displayed in the 1935 Dutchess County Fair, and still to this day comprises part of our existing market.
We feel a great responsibility to the history of this farm and hope to continue its tradition for a long time to come.
“Orchards are even more personal in their charms than gardens, as they are more nearly human creations. Ornaments of the homestead, they subordinate other features of it; and such is their sway over the landscape that house and owner appear accidents without them. So men delight to build in an ancient orchard, when so fortunate to posses one, that they may live in the beauty of its surrounding. Orchards are among the most coveted possessions; trees of ancient standing, and vines, being firm friends and royal neighbors forever. The profits, too, are as wonderful as their longevity. And if antiquity can add worth to a thing, what possession has man more noble than these, so unlike most others which best at first, and grow worse till worth nothing; while fruit trees and vines increase in worth and goodness for ages.”
- Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)