holiday gift shed

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The Holiday Gift Barn at the Honey Room is open!

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I write this to you today as I look at the cardinals, downy woodpecker, and the chickadees visit our feeders with very light snow fall.

The farm stand has been closed for almost two weeks and so I find some time to reflect and look back at this season. I am known to say that the thing a farmer does best is complain and boy did we do a lot of that this year.

The first thing that I remember did not hit us directly, but the Hearty Roots Farm. It is from them that we get all those spectacular bunches of beets, carrots, onion, and eggs. In mid-May, they were hit with a hail storm- the kind that they will tell their grandchildren about. See some pictures of that storm by clicking here.

June and July...There was NO rain and HOT....We even closed the farm stand because it was just too dangerous to be in that heat. We are usually putting in second plantings of zucchini, cucumbers, and green beans at this time, but the soil was like cement and it was just too much to stress the young plants to try and transplant them in such extreme heat conditions.

Then August came and it rained, and then such a heat at the end of August and early September that the apples were literally exploding on the trees, and then more rain...

Now we have lost peach crops and apple crops because of hard winters or late spring frosts that kill the fruit blossoms. When we have that kind of loss early in the season, we seem to be able to we did two years ago when we lost all the stone fruit and planted more tomatoes and vegetables. But this kind of season seemed harder. Because of all the rain, we  watched rows of beautiful tomatoes and other vegetables just fade away and grapes just mold. We could not harvest some apples because we could not get to them because the fields were just too wet and muddy. It was really hard to stay optimistic.

I feel that farmers are such a resilient group of people and with a season like we had our instinct is to say, "OK this was tough, but let's move forward and concentrate on next year and make that better." But again, the fields were too wet and we couldn't even clean up this season let alone start on next season. And then an early snowfall...

Doug says that this was his toughest growing season here in all of our 31 seasons.

That all being said, yes, this was a very tough season but we end it with more thanks than we have had in many years. As some of you may have noticed, I was not around the farm stand as much this summer. That was because I was being treated for Breast Cancer. The amount of thankfulness we have to give to everyone for their love and support...I feel so very, very blessed. One in eight women get breast cancer. This year I am able to say that I beat breast cancer, but not all women are so lucky. Because early detection was what saved me, I have to ask that you all make sure to be tested. I do have to say how especially thankful we were to the MPO crew- to have such GOOD women to step up so that I could lay down and give this the best fight that I could. There was never any doubt or worry in my mind that Noelle, Marissa, Natalie, Marnie, Susan, Caroline, Paige, Hannah, Kate, Emma, Dawn, Andrea, Catherine, Phoebe, Olivia, Brenna, and Bailyn would take care of the farm stand.

So yes, this was the most difficult season Doug and I have had here, but because of it we are that much more excited for next year. As Doug told is like WE are the apple trees right now, anxious to shed our leaves and the bad fruit of the 2018 season and concentrate on the buds we know are there for the 2019 season.

We will be around for the next couple of weeks and here at the farm locations we have turned the Honey room into the 

"Holiday Gift Shed"

Come in the main gate at Montgomery Place and make your first right and head towards the yellow barns and pine trees. The Holiday Gift Shed in the small yellow building that sits right in the middle between the farm house and the big main barn.

We still have Black Raspberry Jam and I will be cooking up more Black Currant Jam today. There is also lots of honey for your holiday gifts as well as your own winter storage needs. And...Doug says he will make Donuts on Saturday morning...

We also have small gift baskets to put honey and jam in that make great gifts for the mailman and teachers...

Another great idea is our Montgomery Place Orchards Gift Cards!

It is open all the time on an "HONOR SYSTEM", but if you would like to buy a Gift Card or use a Credit Card, please come on Saturday or Sunday, 10am - 4pm. You are also welcome to come by appointment- just email us at

My last note for this year goes to the person editing this newsletter for the last time for us from California. Our Noelle, whom I have referred to for the last 15 years as my "right arm", has started a new adventure with her husband Joe in California. Again, the amount of thankfulness we have for having had her creative, ultimate hard working, love of farming energy with us...2019 is really going to be a new adventure for all of us. I am excited to see how it will be.

As always, thank you for sharing our harvest with us...Good and bad.

Wishing you all the peace of the winter season,

Doug and Talea


"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it - the whole store doesn't show."

-Andrew Wyeth  

Holiday Gift Shed Hours:

*Open Daily on the Honor System*

If you would like to see us...

Saturday 12/14 & Sunday 12/15
10am - 4pm

Saturday 12/21 & Sunday 12/22
10am - 4pm

By appointment: email us at

Copyright © 2019 Doug and Talea Taylor, All rights reserved.
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Doug and Talea TaylorMontgomery Place OrchardsPO Box 24 8 Davis WayAnnandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
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Talea Finke