Macroburst in Dutchess County Causes Severe Orchard Damage

Thousands of Macoun Apple Trees blown over and snapped by the Macroburst. Photo by Overvu Media.

Thousands of Macoun Apple Trees blown over and snapped by the Macroburst. Photo by Overvu Media.

Tuesday, May 15th we experienced extreme weather conditions that resulted in widespread damage throughout the Hudson Valley.

Thankfully, all of our staff is safe and sound, our livestock is unharmed, and our farm buildings and equipment experienced minimal to no damage.

The trees in our orchard were less fortunate. Localized winds of extreme force (deemed a Macroburst by the National Weather Service) touched down on our property at around 4:30pm Tuesday. They were stronger than we've ever experienced before, and caused severe damage to our orchard. One-year old apple trees were ripped out of the ground. Hundreds of lodge pine trellis posts were split in half, taking down entire trellis systems and allowing the wind to snap off thousands of apple trees at the base (unfortunately, that's no exaggeration). Massive 18 foot cherry trees were tipped and uprooted. We're still working on an exact count, but all in all we probably lost around three thousand trees- mostly Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Macoun and Jonagold apples. There's no way to brighten all this. Tuesday's storm wiped away a decade of hard work and investment by the team and the business. Unfortunately, there is currently no commercial insurance policy covering fruit trees, so the orchards themselves were not insured. If you'd like to help, please call or email your senator or representative to ask that federal disaster assistance dollars go to farms and local businesses affected by the storm.

Still, we have so much to be thankful for. The trees we lost represent about 25% of our current apple production- we have many thousands more in good shape. Our apricots, plums, and organic apple trees took minimal damage. Peaches and nectarines appear unharmed, as do our oldest stands: the Golden Delicious, Empire, McIntosh, Mutsu, Cortland, and Pears. There was some hail damage to our strawberries and vegetables, but we think they'll recover quickly.

In farming, there are challenges we must accept. Replanting over the coming years will be a significant job, but we're up to it. And despite all this, we're actually quite optimistic about the fruit crop this year. Most of all, we have a great team working to restore the orchard, and keeping spirits high. Today, we raised around 60 fallen cherry trees back up - mostly appear to still be healthy. The work will continue, the orchard will get better and the farm will go on.

Thank you all for your continued support- we couldn’t do it all without our community.