My love affair with apples began, somewhat accidentally, in 1999 when my husband, Dan, and I became apple growers. We were running a flower nursery, Flatland Flower Farm, out of several backyards in Berkeley and decided it was time for a bit more space for our business. We left the city behind and found a little house in Sebastopol, a small town in western Sonoma County, California. The house was in the middle of a big apple orchard and so, with little more than enthusiasm, we became apple farmers. Ten years after moving to our apple farm, using an old wooden apple press, we juiced some of our apples for the first time and aged that juice in barrels. After a year, our aged juice had fermented into startlingly delicious farm-direct apple cider vinegar. We were hooked, and that first batch sparked a deeper curiosity — “What else can we make from our apples?” The answer, it turns out, is “a lot!”
Since creating our first batch of apple cider vinegar in 2009, I’ve used my culinary creativity to turn our apples, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar into the shrubs, caramels, granolas, and other treats you can find here and at our farmer’s market stand in San Francisco. I’m constantly experimenting in the kitchen to find new ways to use our delicious apples, and am thrilled to present both our year-round favorites and our seasonal, small-batch recipes to our customers!