HOW IT ALL STARTED
We discovered our flagship product while researching uses for our wild apples. Yes, wild apples.
Apple trees are not native to North America. Apples were brought here by the earliest settlers from Europe, where apples are also not native. The apple tree is native to the mountain valleys of modern day Khazakstan. In its true form the apple tree exists in a forest setting growing tall and wild and unruly, competing for daylight so that it can produce offspring in order to secure its survival. Over thousands of years and thousands of man-made selections, the apple traveled along the Silk Road from Khazakstan to Europe, where the apple was eventually transformed into the orchard setting we know today. Khazakstan is home to the last remaining original apple forests.
The apples on our Mountainside arrived no doubt from the earliest Europeans in the area, most likely fur trappers. As the expansion into the "New World" continued, homestead farms were established and every homestead farm had an apple tree. What happened next is nothing short of a miracle. After decades of being abandoned, the apple seeds spread throughout our mountainside where they proliferated into what experts and pomologists have called a "mini-Khazakstan," apple forest and an apple savannah.
Apples have sustained farmers (and humanity) for generations because of its many uses; it can be transported, it can be eaten raw, baked into pies, chopped and boiled into a butter or a sauce, it can be kept in cold storage for long periods of time, and it can also be pressed for juice that naturally ferments into alcohol. During the times in American history when sugar was rare or too expensive, homestead farmers would take their sweet cider and boil it down into a syrup. They called it Boiled Cider or Apple Molasses and it was a staple item in the homestead pantry.
The tradition of boiling of sweet cider into Apple Molasses has faded alongside the homestead farms that kept the tradition alive. Sugar is cheap and abundant now. The Ark of Taste, an international catalogue of heritage foods that are at risk of becoming extinct, has declared Apple Molasses as an endangered food. We are proud to be one of the only makers of Apple Molasses in America today.
We are the first and only known merchant of wild apples as edible, fresh eating apples. We are the makers of thoughtful food products that preserve our heritage and history.