Eric Henry is a fifth generation owner of Blue Hill Orchard, which has been growing tree fruit since 1904. Though their first crops were primarily peaches and cherries, Blue Hills is currently one of the largest apple growers in the state. Blue Hills Orchard was founded by Eric's great, great grandfather, William Arnon Henry, who was formerly the Dean of Agriculture at Wisconsin University and friends with revolutionary peach grower and Glastonbury resident J.H. Hale. (Hale developed a hardy disease resistant peach that grew well in Connecticut and exported them all over the country). It was Hale who encouraged William Arnon Henry to settle in Wallingford on land that he himself handpicked for peach cultivation. In 1918, a great freeze damaged many peach trees. The resilient and resourceful Henry family chose to expand their cultivation of apples and did so with a keen eye for fine varieties. In fact, Eric's grandfather, began growing Empire apples while they were still a brand new variety being researched at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Because he anticipated the success of this ever popular variety, Blue Hills Orchards was, at one point, one of the largest growers of Empire apples. Eric Henry continues the traditions of the generations before him by handpicking the best varieties of fruit for his orchard with the invaluable help of his mother, Rita, his wife, Rebecca and his children. You can find Blue Hills Orchard fruit at Stew Leonard's or at their weekend farm market.