Tim Albright: A lifetime of farming and loving the Helderberg history and land

To the Editor:

As the 2020 harvest season at Indian Ladder Farms comes to its conclusion, it seems an appropriate time to recognize Tim Albright, who retired this year from his position as farm manager. We had plans to recognize Tim’s four-decade long career at Indian Ladder Farms with a big retirement party but due to COVID-19 this plan has, unfortunately, been put on hold.

Tim, who grew up nearby, started working at Indian Ladder Farms when he was 17 years old and still in high school. After graduation, Tim became a full-time farm employee. Over the decades, he advanced from farm worker to farm manager.

Beyond becoming a skilled farmer, Tim grew in many ways during his years at Indian Ladder. From his tractor-seat, he has been a close observer of local wildlife. Walking recently plowed fields, he developed an eagle eye for finding arrowheads and spear points.

Fascinated by the cliffs of the Helderberg escarpment looming above the land he farmed, he learned all he could about the history of the Helderberg region, the 19th-Century landmark known as the Indian Ladder, and the history of John Boyd Thacher Park, collecting photographs and ephemera and ultimately co-authoring a book on the subject.

As farm manager, Tim oversaw a large and diverse workforce; a fleet of agricultural equipment; and many acres of orchards, berries, pumpkins, and field crops. His job was demanding and complicated, but he always explained his work in simple terms, telling those who asked about the nature of his job — “In the spring, I plant. In the summer, I cultivate. In the fall, I harvest. And in the winter, I prune.”

Fortunately, as a friend and neighbor, Tim remains a vital part of our farm community and we wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors. Stay tuned for an announcement of Tim's retirement party, which we plan to hold in our Biergarten as soon as it is safe to do so, when we can all gather to congratulate Tim on a job well done.

Laura Ten Eyck

Vice President

Indian Ladder Farms

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