The richness of our 100-year heritage and grower-owned philosophy is represented in every taste of Musselman’s apple sauce, apple butter, and apple juice. What started in 1907 has become a symbol of tradition and value to generations of families.
As part of a cooperative, over 100 farming families own the company. Our growers take pride in nurturing their 15,000 acres of fruit orchards. They know that what they harvest will be enjoyed by another important family: yours.
Meet Our Growers
Jim Lott and Sarah Lott Zost
In 1927, William Lott started Bonnie Brae Fruit Farms, Inc., in Gardners, Pennsylvania. A Scottish minister visited the farm and proclaimed the landscape was “bonnie brae.” The phrase, meaning beautiful hills, was perfect for the farm’s name.
Today, third-generation Jim Lott, owns and operates the farm. His daughter, Sarah, joined the family business as the fourth-generation owner. Jim’s wife, Barb, manages the bookwork and payroll while his sons, Greg and Dylan, help in the orchards. The family grows a variety of fruit on the farm including apples, peaches, nectarines, and tart cherries.
The Lower Family
In 1900, William W. Boyer started a family farm, growing apple and peach trees. Originally selling nursery stock and fresh fruit locally, Boyer Nurseries and Orchards has expanded to ship trees all over the country from their full-service garden center.
William Sr., William Jr. and David Lower are proud to be the third- and fourth-generation family members operating the nursery and 500 acres of orchards today. They are currently working to place the farm in conservation easements to preserve the land for future generations.
Mark M. Wilson
The Wilson Brothers Farm in Aspers, Pennsylvania, goes back over 150 years and six generations. For 30 of those years, Mark and his dad, William Wilson, operated the farm. Today, Mark continues the family tradition with his son, Nathan.
Mark’s grandfather, John G. Wilson, and his brother were charter members of the Musselman’s grower-owned cooperative in 1949. Mark is proud to still belong to the same co-op. It means he and Nathan can concentrate on growing delicious quality fruit, knowing that Musselman’s will take care of delivering his fruit to you.
John & Carolyn Marker and Heather Marker McKay
Marker-Miller Orchards in Winchester, Virginia, is known as a century farm—recognized as being continuously owned by a single family for more than 100 years. Over that century, the family sold quality fruit to local residents and companies like Musselman’s.
Today, their spacious farm market, bakery and “pick-your-own” fields are filled with 22 varieties of apples, as well as blackberries, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins and red raspberries.
Our Environmental Responsibility
Musselman’s and our family of growers have relied on the environment for our livelihoods for more than 100 years. Sustainability is not something new to us—it’s why we are still here today. And ensuring our orchards will grow for the next generation of farmers is why we’ll still be here tomorrow.
Not only do we pledge to meet or exceed existing environmental regulations, we also apply new approaches to cut down on product waste and reduce power and water use. Learn more about the sustainability methods we put into practice every day at Musselman’s.
- A new wastewater treatment facility at the Peach Glen plant began operation in August 2018. The facility processes 45 million gallons of water per year and returns it to the local water table.
- Each year, 160 million gallons of water from our six processing plants irrigates grass fields and cleanly re-enters local watersheds.
- Improvements on our fresh apple, cherry and peach processing lines save more than five million gallons of water per year.
- Over 14,000 solar panels cover 19 acres and deliver 31% of the power to our Peach Glen plant.
- Residual steam, from the new wastewater treatment facility, provides 45% of the energy demand of the Peach Glen plant.
- Five of our production plants use boilers modified to run on recycled motor oil. These boilers reuse oil from the equivalent of 2.4 million car oil changes each year.
- Our Orrtanna plant generates much of its own electricity with the help of a natural gas-fired jet turbine engine. Waste heat from the jet engine is then used to make steam for processing lines, which eliminates the need for another fuel-burning boiler.
- Our clean-fuel fleet trucks drive on a blend of soybean-based bio-diesel fuel.
- Our growers continually use innovative orchard planting practices like trellising to reduce their environmental footprint while increasing yield per acre.
- To protect our local natural environments, we constructed a wetland area at our Peach Glen property and a grassy waterway at the Biglerville site.
- Practically every part of the apple is used to make delicious products for your family. Six million pounds a year of our apple pomace (the pressed apple material from juice production) is repurposed locally as livestock feed. Peels and cores from apple sauce production are sent to the cider mills for juice pressing. And tiny, grade-out apples from the slicers get slow-cooked in kettles for apple butter.
- We use only repairable apple bins in the fall harvests. Each year, nearly 200,000 wood bins and 100,000 recyclable plastic bins are repaired and returned to the growers’ orchards for the next year.
- Our packaging and box designs have evolved to greatly reduce the amount of wasteful cardboard needed to ship Musselman’s products to grocery stores.
- All cardboard in our packaging is 30% consumer-recycled board.
- Ponds originally created for fire protection of the Orrtanna Plant are now open to public fishing through cooperative programs established with the Mummasburg Sportsmen’s Club (Trophy Trout Program), the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (Cooperative Trout Nursery Program and Mentoring Day), and the Adams County Fish & Game Club (Trout Nursery Operation).
- Our four manufacturing plants in Adams County, Pennsylvania, were honored by the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce with a “GREEN Business Recognition” award for our efforts in water conservation, energy conservation and waste minimization.
Many of these programs have been joint efforts with local, municipal, county, state and federal agencies and citizens’ groups, and we want to thank them for all their assistance.