The Black Dirt Region: New York’s Coolest Agricultural Region

Did you know that New York State is home to one of the world’s coolest geological wonders? Located in southern Orange County, New York, the Black Dirt Region is home to some of the most fertile soil in the world. Most of the region is found in Warwick, NY and centered on the hamlet of Pine Island. We’re fortunate to have this region in our own backyard, allowing us to bring you the tastiest, highest quality home.grown. produce to your table.

The name of the region is rather self-explanatory and appropriate given the dark, impressively fertile soil. History says the soil is the result of an ancient glacial lake bottom augmented by decades of flooding of the Wallkill River. The Black Dirt stretches 26,000 acres making it the largest concentration of such soil in the United States outside of the Florida Everglades. The area was avoided in the early years due to flooding and poor drainage, it wasn’t until General George D. Wickham built a drainage canal through his property in 1835 that the land was farmable. 

The crown jewel of the Black Dirt Region has always been onions. In the early days they used the convenience of relatively nearby New York City as a market to sell the highly-prized commodities. Today, we have hard-working farmers like the folks at A. Gurda Produce. Located in Pine Island, A. Gurda is in the heart of the Black Dirt Region, and they are just one of the fantastic farmers we partner with in the Black Dirt Region. Thanks to farms like A. Gurda we’ve been sourcing produce, most importantly onions, from the region for over 25 years.

A. Gurda is located on the historical Mission Land. Mission Land was the first black dirt tract reclaimed from the Burrell Swamp, which was owned by a New York City Mission in 1878. In 1905 the land was purchased and cleared by Polish Immigrants for farming. In the words of Andy Gurda, “This region is one of the best in the world for growing vegetables.” That’s why we’ve been sourcing onions and other produce, like our Market 32 brand red potatoes, from the area for so long.

Diggin’ the Black Dirt? Try a recipe from the region! We recommend this Squash and Onion Quiche recipe from our pals at A. Gurda.

Stop by your local Price Chopper or Market 32 today to pick up some home.grown. Black Dirt region produce: Look for the A. Gurda Produce label!

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