This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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This life history was conducted with Talea Hekman-Taylor at her farm, Montgomery Place Orchards, in Annandale-On-Hudson, NY on June 18, 2015. Talea is a life-long farmer, and adorer of farm culture. She and her husband have run Montgomery Place Orchards for 29 years, and their farmstand is beloved by many in the community. In this interview Talea describes her parents’ Dutch origins, her Childhood growing up on an orchard in Michigan, and then in Pennsylvania, attending college for education, then transferring to attend school for agriculture, meeting her husband, falling in love amongst cherry blossoms, working on a farm in Virginia, moving back to work for her father in Pennsylvania, and eventually moving to the Hudson Valley to manage Montgomery Place Orchards with her husband Doug. Talea speaks about the struggles to start and maintain a farm, the realities of not owning the land you grow on, her fondness for her father, her relationship with her mother, the balance between running a profitable farm and taking time to enjoy what you grow, and her hopes for her children.
Marnie Macgregor has worked for Talea at the Montgomery Place Orchards farmstand off and on for four years, and this interview comes from great admiration for her. Marnie is a 2014 graduate of Bard College where she majored in Cultural Anthropology. Originally from her own family’s fruit farm in central Minnesota, she is passionate about the intersection between agriculture, rural communities, and the Midwest. By completing this workshop, Marnie hopes to continue conducting interviews in her local community, collecting stories about the disappearing family farm landscape and how it effects small town viability.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”