Earthy Finish

A connoisseur’s guide to local soil

By Chip Rowe

One of the strengths of agriculture in the Hudson Valley is the diversity of its soil. Reading through dirt reports prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture can feel like browsing a wine list.

Laura Parker, an artist based in San Francisco, had that same thought in 2006, when she filled wine glasses with dirt for an installation called Taste of Place and invited people to “sample” them.

Laura Parker (Photo by David Hawthorne)

(Five years earlier, she had asked patrons at the public library to write down their memories of the land. That piece was called “How far are you from the farm? A mile or a generation?”).

Here we share a connoisseur’s guide to just a few of the soils of Putnam, Dutchess and Orange counties:

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