POMONA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – 20 years before George Washington was born, there was a member of the Concklin family farming in Rockland County.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story
“We are all part of history, as long as you just keep on working,” Richard Concklin said.
300 years later, he and his sister Linda are still cultivating a cornucopia.
“Get up in the morning and you can look outside and you see nature, beauty all around you,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “Seeing fruit-laden trees is a beautiful sight.”
There are peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, cherries, and, of course, apples.
“Gala. We’ve got honey crisps, McIntosh, red delicious, golden delicious, Fuji, ginger gold,” he said. “My wife complains I’m too noisy when I’m eating my apples at home at night.”
It’s fitting that The Orchards of Concklin are in Pomona, named for the goddess of fruit.
Linda’s son, Scott Hill, is the eleventh generation there.
He picked a tasty Macoun apple for Adams and then showed him to the cider room, where you can hear the sound of dripping pure sweet goodness.
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Here’s the lineage.
Anias Concklin came from Nottingham, England in 1634 and Nicholas Concklin bought 400 acres in Rockland County in 1711.
There has been an annual harvest ever since.
Richard’s dad Raymond started the modern-day fruit farm and store in the 1940s.
LINK: The Orchards of Concklin
“We still had 300 farmers in 1950,” Richard said. But there are just a handful of them left today.
The Concklins’ lives on thanks in part to the county buying the remaining 100 acres and preserving it as open space.
Scott Hill calls the lush green patch a national treasure, an oasis.
“I think that’s why I don’t need to go anywhere on vacation,” he said. “Why would you want to leave the perfect place?
Whether the Concklins will be farming this land 300 years from now? That remains to be seen. It is, after all, a difficult way of life.
“I’ve cut down. I’m down to about 80 hours a week now,” Richard said. “That’s like part-time.”
The future will be up to Scott.
“I plan to keep on farming, so long as I’m physically able to,” he said.