Mark's Good Apples Farm is a former dairy, nestled into the hills of Bloomville, NY, boasting a 1790's farmhouse, post and beam barn, fruiting orchard & lush hay fields. Just a short drive from the towns of Delhi, Bovina & Andes, this property transports guest to a simpler era with glimpses into the past and hints at modern luxury.
Flooded with natural light and flanked by views of the surrounding mountains, The Homestead is the quintessential country stay.
Each of the cozy bedrooms boast original wood floors, antique rugs & luxurious Parachute linens. The farmhouse-style common spaces afford unique nooks to read, paint, write or simply lounge in, while the front parlor includes a baby grand piano. A working fireplace in the formal living area provides romantic flickering light and the warm, scented ambiance of crackling wood, should you choose to spend a long morning or night in on the sofa. The generously sized dining room provides space for eight guests to gather at a long farm table, with easy access to the side yard for grilling in the summer!
Formerly a part of John Lennon & Yoko Ono's farm co-op, the property includes a picturesque barn perfect for projecting outdoor movies in fair weather. A wide swath of hayfields and mowed lawn provides plenty of space for picnicking, bird-watching & sunbathing in the Summer or snow-shoeing and general adventuring in the Winter.
Weddings, Retreats, Wellness & Photoshoots
Together with Brushland Eating House in Bovina, Mark's Good Apples Farm welcomes weddings, corporate retreats, shoot location and launch parties, offering tailored events packages for all seasons. Nestled into the bucolic Catskill mountains, the Farm is outfitted in a way that makes gathering simple, beautiful and above all, memorable. The farmhouse - which is situated on a paved road close to town - provides ample lodging for hosts, while the wide, flat lawn with panoramic views can play host to myriad activities - music, dancing, platform tents and tuscan-style dinner tables among them. Beyond the hayfield and lawn lies the apple, currant & hazelnut orchard, blooming through spring and fruiting in the summer and early fall, where romantic rehearsal dinners or early-evening cocktails are spectacular. The dairy barn and milk stalls that flank the northern side of the farm prove wonderful backdrops for projecting movies, photographs and lectures, while acres of cornfield at the exterior create a wonderful backdrop and a great sense of privacy. Anything you've dreamt of, can come true here at the farm.
To inquire about hosting an event or renting the space as a shoot location, please email Sara.
History of Mark's Good Apples Farm
Archaic period Native Americans hunted along the West Branch of the Delaware River on the property about 2,000 B.C. We know this because Mark Quehl and his mom found a white, chipped quartz knife there, missing a haft at the bottom where the shaft would tie, so not a spearhead. Well before this, what was to become the farm rested at the bottom of the Heidelberg Sea.
The farmhouse and farm’s 44 acres are originally part of the holdings of Jane Montgomery, whose family received a large land patent in the 18th Century from the British Crown for tracts stretching across Delaware County. The farmhouse was likely built in 1792, or thereabouts, in the Georgian style by the same architect and builder who created the Frisbee House on County Highway 10, across the river and toward Delhi.
The original house served as a combination of roadside inn and a place for the Montgomery’s agents, who leased land to tenants in return for cash or a portion of what they produced. The two parlors, foyer, three bedrooms upstairs, a sitting room above the front door, and creepy stone basement make up the original house. Plaster for the walls included horsehair among its ingredients. The original builder crafted the mouldings in the two parlors, one set more formal than the other.
Among the tenants were the Thomas family, who purchased the farm in the early 1800’s. The farm’s land made up hundreds of acres, from Bramley Mountain to the South to beyond the peak of the high hill across the Delaware River directly beyond the orchard to the North, including a half mile of frontage along the river.
The Thomas’s held the farm throughout the 19th Century. They built an unusual double entry high bridgeway, three story barn to store grain house animals sometime in the 1840s and 1850s. In the barn and original front portion of the house, builders used mortis and tenon joinery to hold key beams together instead of nails. Marks from an adze, a tool of the time, and bark from the trees felled for supports, can still be seen. On the stone wall between the house and the barn, flat stone protrudes from the wall toward the porch. This served as steps for people climbing out of, or onto, carriages. The Thomas’s built an extension off of the original house that includes the dining room and den and kitchen on the first floor and bedrooms on the second.
In the 20th Century, the farm turned principally to dairy. Bathrooms were added, as well as the large open room off of the back door, which eventually served as a second kitchen. A series of new owners included Dreamstreet, an investment project including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, with extraordinarily valuable dairy cattle living in the barn. After Dreamstreet, the farm took on several names, including ‘Losing Battle Farm’, because of the stinginess of the heavy clay, rocky soil. Dairy farming continued until the early 1990s.
The farmhouse was broken into multi family rental housing. After several years, it was largely abandoned, falling into disrepair, apparently occupied by a ghost cat visible only to Mark. The farm was purchased by Mark’s mom and dad of Philadelphia in 2003, the appeal of the land (ultimately reduced to 44 acres) the historic farmstead needing saving, and trout fishing too much to deny. Renovations of house, barn, and addition of walls of picked stone from the property aim to strip down, improve livability, and present in a manner that lets the beauty of the land, buildings and light speak for themselves. The rear porch was added to enjoy views of the natural geologic bowl surrounding much of the land, sky and forests always changing in color. Bald eagles, bear, deer, heron, hawks, beaver, fox, coyote, owl, grouse, woodcock, turkey, and trout share the farm.
Sitting in the hot tub in 2009, added next to a the old stone smokehouse, Scott was suddenly seized by the desire to establish an orchard. Why? Who can reckon love. Stone walls, windbreak trees, acres of low profile deer fencing, irrigation and planting of 20+ varieties of 160 apple and pear trees followed, along with grapes, currants, blueberries, some cherry and apricot trees, and hazelnuts. Russian root stocks grafted onto tree scions developed at the University of Minnesota and Cornell promoted hardiness against the cold. USDA and consultants were engaged. ‘Mark’s Good Apples’ took root. What could possibly go wrong? Well, many things, it turns out. After several replantings, eight varieties of apples and four of pears have shown they can withstand late season frosts, blights, and crafty deer who foil the fence. Honeycrisp and Liberty are the strongest eating apple, and Golden Russets are three years away from making delicious hard cider. Once fully established, further expansion of the organic orchard is planned.
Wayside Cider of Andes is among the purchasers of the orchard’s fruit. Alfalfa and silage corn are also grown to support local dairy.