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A Recent History of Tweefontein

FARM-ABOVETweefontein was built on Anne Salomon’s vision and Larry Salomon’s back. They purchased the 9 acre farm from Bill and Mary (Jenkins) Nichols, who was a descendant from the French Huguenots, the original settlers of New Paltz.
IMG_2717Abandoned for many years, they soon realized that much work needed to be done. A rocky, clay-rich, non-draining former milk farm west of New Paltz, this beautiful piece of paradise had no business growing what it does today. It lies at the foothills of the Shawangunk Ridge, bordering the Mohonk Preserve
familyneg2632The original homestead was built in approximately 1830 and later added to in the turn of the century
familyneg2633Ancestors of the Jenkins family, co founders of the Jenkins - Lueken Orchards just up the road ( homesteaded the original farm. In the early 1900s the farm boarded construction workers from the Catskill Aqueduct project, a significant portion of the New York City water supply, located just up the hill from the farm.
familyneg2635Blood, sweat and tears made the farmhouse habitable. A small spring like seep was discovered in the farmhouse’s dark basement. This unfortunate feature and a beautiful hand dug well provided the naming opportunity for the farm; Tweefontein (Two Fountains in Anne’s native South African tongue)
garlicThe real work focused on the soil. Clearing, composting, draining and irrigation work were started. Much work was put into construction of raised beds throughout the farm. A totally organic approach was used. Soon magic began to grow. The farm’s bounty started to supply local residents, markets, herbal healers and restaurants
annemarketThe gardener was becoming a farmer. In the mid 1980s Tweefontein began its 30 year association with New York City's Greenmarket as one of its first herb farms

The Greenmarket provided small regional family farms the opportunity to sell their outstanding products directly to NYC consumers
DSC_0162Tweefontein’s reputation for superior naturally grown produce and farm prepared products flourished and many stories were written.

The farm produce heirloom vegetables, herbs of every sort and an amazing variety of garlic which became Anne’s passion. Unbelievable pestos, sorbets, teas and herbal tinctures were produced and sold from the farm’s bounty. Young people were drawn to Anne. Along with Tweefontein itself, Anne became a mentor to so many and an incubator for young talent. These farmers came to the farm to work and learn and contributed to what Tweefontein is today. A sign that Anne hung prominently from the farm’s main barn noted: “This Land is my steward, I shall not want.”

All good things change.  Unfortunately Anne passed away in 2003.  However all the effort that was put into Tweefontein, along with the growing demand for quality Hudson Valley sourced food has helped sustain Tweefontein.  Today Anne’s children share the farm with young farmers interested in keeping Tweefontein’s tradition alive and making their own mark in sustainable, locally grown goodness.

Link’s to stories about Tweefontein over the years include:

New York Magazine 2020

Hudson Valley One

New York Serious Eats 2010

Local Harvest 2009

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