Indian Ladder Farms Kicking off EcoCertified™ Apple Season with Red Tomato
Altamont, N.Y.- September 16, 2022 – Indian Ladder Farms is pairing up with EcoCertifiedTM, a program of Red Tomato, to kick off the Apple Picking Season. Senator Hinchey, Assemblymember Fahy, and NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Ball were all on hand for the event.
EcoCertified™ is an independent certification awarded to growers who follow the most ecologically-sensitive growing practices available for locally grown tree fruit in the Northeast. It is a community of farmers, scientists, and advisors, whose practices are based on creating an orchard ecosystem that supports pollinators, keeps damaging insects in balance with natural predators, and promotes soil and tree health.
Indian Ladder Farms starting Pick-Your-Own apples in late August, as some varieties ripen earlier. The support and patronage from the community has been
EcoCertified™ supports the best ecological farming practices for our region. Growers in the Northeast are longtime leaders in adopting and promoting eco-friendly practices that adapt to growing conditions and climate. The Eco program brings the expertise of scientists and farmers throughout the region together to maintain a rigorous growing protocol to protect pollinators, promote soil and tree health, and treat orchards as holistic ecosystems.
The big news this year is the launch of EcoCertified’s updated brand and logo. The change provides better ability to communicate the meaning of the program and promote it alongside the orchards.
The most ecological farming practices aren’t the same for every locale. Even though the Northeast grows some of the best apples in the world, over 93% of certified organic apples sold in the U.S. come from western Washington. The climate in the Eastern U.S. is very different––more rain, more diseases, and over 60 species of damaging insects––and the national organic standards do not always offer the most sustainable treatments for those conditions. For responsible growers and conscientious eaters in the eastern U.S., EcoCertifiedTM offers the best combination of Local + Ecologically grown fruit.
“Indian Ladder Farms is an agricultural trailblazer in apple growing, and it is a well-deserved honor for this centuries-old New York farm to achieve an EcoCertification for its sustainable growing practices,” Senator Michelle Hinchey said. “Indian Ladder is a cornerstone business in the Altamont community, and with apple season in full swing, now is the perfect time to plan a family visit to the orchard to pick the fresh, local apples New York is known for. Congratulations to the Ten Eyck family, and happy apple season to all of New York’s growers!”
“One of the highlights of being an Upstate New Yorker is our beautiful Fall season, with all the cherished traditions that come along with it,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “In the Capital Region, our apple growers aren’t just a source of family fun and memories, but an important driver of economic activity and an anchor of New York’s agricultural exports. I want to commend Red Tomato for achieving certification under the EcoCertified program for their newest orchards, showing a commitment to both delicious produce and our planet. I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of this special time of year by joining family or friends to visit one of our many orchards and farms that will open their doors to the public.”
“As one of the nation’s top agricultural states, New York traditionally comes together in the fall to celebrate the harvest,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “I’m excited to help kick off the season at Indian Ladder Farms and to celebrate their EcoCertified certification, which illustrates the farm’s commitment to sustainable growing practices and builds on our NYS Grown & Certified program, and that’s something consumers can feel good about. I encourage families to get out to their local apple orchards this fall to experience some of the bounty of New York State first hand.”
“Our growers in New York State are always looking at ways to increase their sustainability efforts and to meet customer demand for fresh, local produce,” said Elizabeth Wolters, New York Farm Bureau Deputy Public Policy Director. “Indian Ladder Farm’s announcement today showcases its commitment to these important efforts. New York is the second leading apple producer in the country, and New York Farm Bureau is grateful to the Ten Eyck family and all of the state’s apple producers who help feed our local communities.”
“Our farm is more than a century old, and to make it two, we need to look to our partners, like EcoCertifiedTM and Red Tomato, to help keep our crops sustainable, and healthy for the consumer,” said Peter Ten Eyck, Owner, Indian Ladder Farms.
“The support and patronage from the community has been overwhelming since we started pick-your-own apples in late August,” Laura Ten Eyck, Manager, Indian Ladder Farms. “We’re looking forward to another successful year and seeing our returning families continue their traditions and fall celebrations.”
“EcoCertifiedTM orchards are a powerful, resilient force in our region’s food system, combining the most ecological growing practices with the best of local foods,” said Angel Mendez,
Executive Director of Red Tomato. “We’re proud to work with Indian Ladder Farms, and are grateful for their commitment to raising delicious fruit that we can all feel good about.”
The orchards in the Eco program incorporate deep family roots and experience with new, young energy and innovation. They represent some of the oldest farms in the region, with family roots that go back centuries, as well as the newest generation of fruit growers.
EcoCertified™ orchards for 2022 are: Blue Hills Orchard (CT), Champlain Orchards (VT), Clark Brothers Orchard (MA), Cooper Farms (ME), Fishkill Farms (NY), Green’s Fruit Farm (PA), Hurd Orchards (NY), Indian Ladder Farms (NY), Lyman Orchards (CT), Ricker Hill Orchards (ME), Rogers Orchard (CT), Scott Farm Orchard (VT), Schlegel Fruit Farm (PA), Steere Orchard (RI), and Sunrise Orchards (VT).
Get involved in the conversation on social media! Use the hashtags, #ecocertified, #localdoneright, #thisishowwefarm and be sure to tag your favorite EcoCertified orchard.
About Indian Ladder Farms. Nestled in the shadow of the Helderberg Escarpment, Indian Ladder Farms (ILF) is an upstate NY family-owned farm. The farm is home to over 300 acres of apple orchard, berry patches, pumpkin fields, hop yards and animal pasture. We pride ourselves on providing a space for our community to establish a connection between the food on their plates and the land. Indian Ladder Farms is now a centennial farm; the farm was founded by Peter Gansevoort Ten Eyck in 1916. The popular orchard and agritourism destination located in Altamont, New York, near Albany, continues on today and is operated by the fourth generation of the Ten Eyck Family and a team of experienced managers and staff. For more information visit www.indianladderfarms.com.
About Red Tomato. Red Tomato is a nonprofit food hub celebrating 25 years of helping to build a sustainable future for Northeast farms. We are committed to bringing transparency, equity and ecological responsibility to our region’s food supply, by creating marketing, logistics and educational programs that support farm viability and make local food more accessible to all. Based in Rhode Island, we work with partners throughout the US. To learn more about Red Tomato visit https://redtomato.org/
About EcoCertifiedTM. The EcoCertifiedTM program was launched in 2005, as a partnership of non-profit Red Tomato; the IPM Institute of North America; and a network of farmers, scientists, and fruit experts, to advance the most environmentally responsible growing practices for locally-grown tree fruit in the Northeast. The goal, then and now, is to support growers in our region by bringing together the best of local and ecological growing practices, educating the public about their value, and building a market that keeps local orchards thriving and local apples abundant. Begun with six orchards, the program has certified 30 Northeast orchards and sold over $25 million in certified fruit since 2005.
To learn more about EcoCertifiedTM visit https://redtomato.org/eco/.