Workshops – Books – Tours – Trees – Plants

Towards A Climate Resilient Food Economy:

We have passionately searched the Sierra Nevada and Western States to re-discover the living library of plants still scattered across Northern California, those trees and plants left over from the 1800’s and early 1900’s Gold Rush era.   These are the grandmother trees that have become climate resilient with no human attention for the last 100 years. They give the best fruit and nuts in conditions that most fruit and nut trees can not endure with large annual temperature variations. These  grandmother trees have learned to thrive under the most harsh conditions. We want to make them available to growers, gardeners and communities throughout the West Coast.

We have personally found these trees and have taken cuttings directly from the 100+ year old grandmother trees that still cling to life in ghostly, historic orchards. We offer very rare and exclusive plants – some may have only just been rediscovered.

95% of plants available during the 1800s are no longer available today.  We are saving what is left before they die. 

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Thanks to Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply (originally started by our founder Amigo Bob Cantisano), a collection of some of our favorite species and varieties will be available through Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden for the 2024/25 Bareroot Season. 

Stay Tuned…

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The SOLD OUT Varieties listed below are for informational purposes only. These are many of the plants we have found and sold over the years. While some of these varieties will be available this Autumn, many will not. 

Updates on what we have for sale this year will be available in October 2024.

Thank you for all your Support!

Orders only accepted via the website.

Fit for the Czar Apple

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Product Details

This heirloom owes its name to its place in California horticultural history. In the mid 1890s Lowell Hill, near the Bear River, was already a famed apple growing area. James Buckner, then a well known fruit grower in Lowell Hill was documented in 1894 to have shipped two hundred boxes of highly prized apples to Nicholas II, then the Czar of Russia. Imagine the logistics of shipping apples around the world in the 1890s! This must have been one helluva a fruit to justify its international fame! We have discovered what we believe to be the trees in the remnants of a Lowell Hill orchard, that still produces wonderful fruit. This Pearmain type fruit is sweet, crunchy and very flavorful. It harvests in September to October @ 3900' and keeps for at least two months, longer with refrigeration. Excellent for fresh eating, very good in pies and applesauce. May be a good addition for cider, we haven’t tried them yet.

The grandmother tree exists on a historic orchard in Lowell Hill, at 3900’ in Placer county, CA. Lowell Hill was a gold mining town from the 1850s through the early 1900s and attracted numerous farmers and ranchers due to the deep forest soils, plentiful snowpack and good access to markets via proximity to the Western Pacific railroad in Dutch Flat, a rip roaring mining town on the other side of the Bear River. We have located three distinct heirloom orchards still growing around Lowell Hill with no human care. The bears and squirrels are the biggest challenge to harvesting these crops and the long-term survival of the trees.

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