A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to fly down to Orange County to be a part of the Mom 2.0 Conference with Tree Top. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m certain you are familiar with their apple juice! Tree Top is a grower owned co-op located in the heart of Washington’s apple country, and processes nearly 55 percent of the fruit in our state. More than a dozen apple varieties are pressed each harvest!
The event was held in Laguna Niguel, CA. I couldn’t arrive to the event empty handed, so I brought fresh baked apple sugar cookies!
The first day we visited Tanaka Farms in Irvine, CA for a farm-to-table lunch. Along with 15 other bloggers, our group took a part guided walking/tractor tour around the farm and harvested our own veggies for lunch!
After we had each picked what we were going to eat, we washed and prepared the food for the BBQ. While we ate we learned all kinds of interesting things about Tree Top! Tree Top was founded more than 50 years ago by a small group of Washington state fruit growers, who weren’t happy that perfectly edible apples were being wasted. Apples that were damaged by hail or heat, too small in size, misshapen or had poor coloring were being tossed into landfills by the tons. Virtually none of the apples at Tree Top go to waste. Just because a piece of fruit isn’t pretty enough for the fresh apple market doesn’t mean it’s not tasty and perfect for juicing or another fruit-based product.
One of the things “ugly fruits” are used for are dry ingredients. I never really thought about where the fruit comes in cereals, baking mixes, yogurt, etc. Tree Top has become the largest supplier of dried apple products in the world. Dried fruits are mainly for ingredient use, and Tree Top’s dried and low moisture apples find their way into the nation’s top brands of cereals, breakfast pastries, cake mixes, snacks, etc. Isn’t that fascinating? It was great to learn these things I’d never thought twice about while we enjoyed our meal overlooking the beautiful farm.
After we enjoyed our lunch, we were treated with the most gigantic chocolate dipped strawberries. I kid you not, I could have eaten six. They were delicious!
After our fun afternoon at Tanaka Farms, we spent the next two days at the Mom 2.0 Summit. Tree Top had a darling booth with a fresh pressed Honeycrisp Apple Juice bar that we served with a variety of herbs. I would have never thought to mix apple juice with mint, thyme or rosemary but it was so refreshing! One of the reasons I love Tree Top so much is because it’s the only major brand that uses 100 percent USA apples for it’s apple juice. The brand maintains a trained taste panel to guarantee the finest quality in every single batch of apple juice produced. You know what you’re going to get…delicious apple juice!
Crafts were also a huge hit at the Tree Top booth. We decorated lunch sacks with fabric markers and a variety of stamps. After decorating, people could “Pack Some Happy” meaning packing apple sauce pouches and boxed apple juice, etc.
Not only was it an informative, hands-on experience, the view wasn’t too bad! I’m already looking forward to going back!
For more information, including recipes and nutrition facts, visit www.treetop.com.