Meet Me in Marlborough: On the Farm Report. Entry #1 by Tariq Sanwarwalla
On May 20th 2012, I interviewed Mr. Steve Clarke, owner of the Prospect Hill Orchards and a prominent member of the Marlborough’s agricultural community, about the prospects of the farming industry in Marlboro for the year 2011-2012. He was neither upbeat nor downtrodden in his expectations of this year’s crop yield. According to him “what is happening on the farms this year is a historical event”. As per Mr. Clarke, the winter of 2011 and 2012 was “the warmest on record” with a very easygoing winter. “This created the earliest bloom in recorded history of the Hudson Valley”.
Even though there was substantial damage to the local crop, Mr. Clarke took solace from the fact that the local area had fared much better in comparison to the output of the surrounding areas. Marlboro/Milton had a crop yield of between 60-70% as compared to normal, whereas the rest of New York State has received about 25-40% Michigan is estimated to have a crop yield of no more than 20%. Hence this is something to cheer about for the farmers of Marlboro/Milton.
In Mr. Clarke’s opinion, the result of the early bloom will drive up prices which will go to the consumer. Mr. Clarke had also mentioned that historically the Hudson Valley is one of the best areas to farm, due to the unlimited supply of water from the Hudson River, and with Marlboro’s and Milton’s many hills which aid in protecting the crops from frost.