Shop around any corner store in any place in America and you’re likely to find fruit from far off places. Klein’s Kill Fruit Farm in Germantown, NY is doing its part to reverse that trend in their region. They grow over 600 acres of fruit – including apples, pears, peaches, nectarines and plums – all of which is distributed to wholesale customers, including several hundred Hudson Valley farm stands.
Owner and operator Russell Bartolotta Jr. is a third generation grower. His grandfather Antonio, an Italian immigrant, started Klein’s Kill Farm in 1921 and his uncles have stuck with the orchard operation for their whole lives. The farm, named after a nearby stream (“kill” means “creek” in Dutch, and early New Yorkers had a habit of naming creeks after themselves), trippled in size, and much more so in variety, over the course of the 20th century. Today Russell focuses on streamlining internal processes and advancing orchard technology so Klein’s Kill can compete on the regional and national wholesale markets.
The folks at Klein’s Kill describe their business as one that “continues to blossom.” Consumers across the region would do well to seek out the fruits of those blossoms wherever they can be found. Klein’s Kill is certified by the IPM Institute of North America to meet the rigorous standards of Red Tomato’s Eco Program.