News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
The oldest working farm in Westchester County may add another designation to its list of historic accomplishments.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm, which has been family-operated since 1828 in Somers, has been nominated by state Assemblyman Matt Slater (R-C/Yorktown) to be placed on the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry.
To be nominated as a historic business for the directory that was created by the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, a business must have operated for a minimum of 50 years and have made significant contributions to the history of their local communities.
“We have so many businesses that have called the 94th District home for decades and to hear their stories is truly inspiring. I cannot thank Stuart’s Fruit Farm enough for allowing our families to come and enjoy their farm every year and sharing their roots with us,” Slater said. “I encourage everyone to stop by and support our local businesses as they prove time and time again they are the heart of our towns.”
A popular destination in the fall for apple and pumpkin picking, Stuart’s Fruit Farm sits on 172 acres and attracts about 25,000 visitors annually.
In 2017, $2.94 million was contributed by state, county and local government entities to protect the farm and educational resource from being developed.
The largest investment was made by the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets with $1.84 million. Westchester County contributed $400,000, Scenic Hudson Land Trust pitched in $353,000, and the Town of Somers donated $300,000. Westchester Land Trust ($50,000) and Somers Land Trust ($3,000) were also part of the joint effort.
“If you have been to the farm one time or 100, every person that leaves the farm feels like family, and that is a true testament to the Stuart family. I want to thank them for making their farm a memorable place for all,” Somers Town Supervisor Rob Scorrano said.
Bob and Betsy Stuart said they were appreciative of the recognition.
A few years ago, Bob Stuart, a former town councilman, said his children, in-laws and grandchildren all worked year-round on the farm.
“This is a simple family farm and I love what I do,” Stuart said. “This is an island of the past. There aren’t many family farms left, so it’s important that we hang on to them because once a farm is gone, it doesn’t get replaced, and future generations won’t know what life on a farm is like.”
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/