Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Apple growers sever ties with New Mexico

The owners of Dixon’s Apple Orchard in Peña Blanca have agreed to relinquish their lease on the orchard and another 8,600 acres of land managed by the State Land Office in exchange for $2 million. The agreement brings to a close the family’s ties to the land that date back to 1944, when Fred and Faye Dixon moved to a dude ranch on the Spanish land grant known as Rancho de la Cañada and began developing an apple orchard. Dixon’s was known for its Champagne apples, a pale yellow variety prized by New Mexicans for being particularly crisp, juicy and sweet. People from all over the area made fall pilgrimages to the apple shed to buy bushels of Champagnes, as well as another popular variety, Sparkling Burgundy. In 2011, however, a devastating fire and subsequent flooding destroyed many of the trees in the orchard. The damage also broke the will of Fred Dixon’s granddaughter, Becky Mullane, and her family to continue growing apples on the land near Cochiti Lake...more

Another casualty of federal land management.

No comments: