On our way back from a forum on the future of the JC’s sustainable agriculture program, I got to visit the cannery with my friend Torrey, who grows apples at Gabriel Farm. We waited in line with other farmers outside their flatbed trucks and talked about the falling apple prices of late. The cannery is the only remaining fruit processor in Western Sonoma County. It has a huge space aged press that spins as it squeezes the juice out of the apples, and also makes sauce and vinegar. Here’s a history of cannery from the company’s website:
Manzana Products Co., Inc. is a historic apple cannery nestled in Sebastopol’s Green Valley. For over 80 years, apple sauce, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar have been produced in this little corner of the world. Our area is a famous growing region for wine grapes , but many other crops as well. In fact, Manzana was started as a small dryer operation known as Oehlmann Evaporator. Local fruit such as apples, prunes, pears, and hops were delivered and dried. It was owned and operated by husband and wife team, Rudolph and Maude Oehlmann. In 1945, Oehlmann Evaporator became incorporated and changed it’s name to Manzana Products.