THEN & NOW
By Donna and Christina Ploch
Ploch's Farm was established in 1867 by our great-great-grandfather George Ploch. The property was originally a dairy farm and was later converted into a fruit and vegetable farm. George Ploch had seven children; one of his children, Jacob Ploch was our great grandfather.
Jacob Ploch continued farming the land, working much of the time with a horse-drawn plow. Farm work was incredibly difficult in those days because of the absence of modern farm machinery. Farming was tough but Jacob continued the tradition until it was taken over by his son, Rudolph Ploch (our grandpa!).
Our Grandfather worked just as hard as his farther Jacob and was lucky enough to have the advantage of being able to use gasoline-powered machinery.
Rudolph Ploch had two children of his own, a son and a daughter, Rudy and Lin (our Father and Aunt). Rudolph Ploch and his son Rudy both farmed the fields and continued to sell their fresh produce wholesale at the Paterson Farmers Market and at Hunts Point Terminal, New York. A shed on our property still houses the truck used to transport the produce from our farm to the market. Markings on its doors read "Rudolph Ploch and Son".
In addition, to selling at wholesale markets, they parked a trailer along Grove Street where our family sold their homegrown produce fresh from the fields! This marked the very beginning of our retail operation...
Eventually, the trailer moved into the garage for better convenience and space. Produce was sold along side vegetable plants and our business expanded even more. Rudy decided that it was time to permanently expand the business and built our retail farm stand in 1990. Since then we have established a spring season where our greenhouses are filled with many varieties of perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, vegetable plants, and much more. Our summer season consists of fresh picked fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, gift shop, ice cream, Italian ice and baked goods. In the fall, you can participate in picking-your-own-pumpkins, mums, cornstalks, and holiday decorations.
Today as tradition continues, our Dad works the15-acre farm much as his father had but with better technology and innovations. His main crops are tomatoes and corn; and we proudly claim, with confidence, that our tomatoes are the best tasting in town! While Rudy works the field and makes sure produce is brought freshly to the farm stand, his sister Lin manages the retail operation and maintains a close relationship with long time customers.
What many people may not realize is that farming is one of the hardest jobs to occupy and in a time when we have become the last remaining working farm in the area, the occupation and our family history have become even more important to us. That why when people often ask us what our father does for a living, we proudly say, "Our Dad's a farmer."