Company Review: Living Tree Community Foods – Alive, Sundried, Wildcrafted, Organic and Kosher

Living Tree Community Foods

Here is some history about the company and the owner, taken from their website:

In 1979, Jesse Schwartz, a former college teacher and John Kozack a teacher and administrator with the BioDynamic Farming and Gardening Association of Southern California founded Living Tree Community in Marin County, California. We propagated historic and heirloom fruit trees, including over 80 varieties of old time apple varieties. Through the miracle of grafting we made “photocopies” and propagated them in quantity. We gathered many of these varieties on fruit exploring expeditions in Mendocino County, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Sierra foothills. We were often guided by old timers who had grown up in the orchards and knew every tree. We brought back from near extinction several early California varieties including Hauer Pippin, Skinner’s Seedling and Pink Pearl, a pink fleshed variety.

We also introduced the Warren pear to California agriculture. It was discovered by T.O. Warren, a distinguished member of the North American Fruit Explorers. He found it in a rural area of Louisiana. He at once noticed something unusual despite the heat and humidity, it was free of fireblight. Its refreshingly sweet taste and fine texture were also exceptional. Family farmer Al Courchesne of Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood commissioned us to transform an orchard of nondescript pears to Warren Pear. We did so over three years by a sophisticated grafting technique called frameworking, joining scions of Warren Pear onto the primary and secondary branches. By leaving the trees intact, we brought them back into full production in less than half the time it would have taken to plant an orchard anew.

Warren Pears
In regard to bringing back heirloom varieties, Thomas Jefferson wisely said, “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”

In addition to growing trees, we began manufacturing almond butter, which we offered in our tree catalog.

After a decade of propagating trees, we closed the Nursery. Jesse Schwartz founded Living Tree Community Foods, Inc. in Berkeley and we have since devoted ourselves to manufacturing and distributing organic food. Wherever possible, we buy our ingredients from family farmers. In particular, our pistachios, calymirna figs, mission figs, dried peaches, apricots, nectarines, medjool dates and halawi dates are grown by family farmers here in California. We feel privileged to support them.

Read more here: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/aboutus.asp

My Review

I’ve known the owner, Jesse Schwartz for a while and have seen the company grow from producing and selling a few nut butters to now selling seed butters, alive oils, alive chocolate, pestos, coconut products, dried fruit and vegetables, grains, seeds, etc. Their products are of the highest quality and the company has integrity and are concerned about the environment. They support family farmers and source the best ingredients.

Organic Alive Almond Butter

Info from their site: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/product.asp?id=11&catid=40

I am a BIG fan of almond butter! I love the creamy texture and the fact that they make it in small batches and slice not grind the almonds gives it such a smooth yummy taste. I guess I would have to see it, to believe it! Perhaps, I will have to one day go to Berkeley, CA to do a video of the process, as it would be interesting to see and share. I do not know of any other company doing it this way. The product is certified organic, kosher and made from California almonds. They are high in calcium and iron. I eat it straight out of the jar because it is so good and I can! I also love to use as a dip and “dunk” my carrots in the jar. I like the balance of flavor between the two. I also put it on celery and pieces of cabbage for a wrap. You can also use it to make a sweet or savory sauce/dressing depending on the other ingredients you add to it and use on your salad, pasta (I make mine out of zucchini because I do not use any flour products), etc.

Organic and Alive Sesame Tahini

Info from their site: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/product.asp?id=10&catid=44

Tahini is a versatile seed butter and can be used to prepare many different things. From sauces, dressings, dips, mayos, spreads, added to desserts, to make halvah, etc. It is high in calcium and iron, as it comes from sesame seeds. The seeds are sliced rather then ground, as I mentioned above regarding the almond butter. The product is certified organic and kosher. It also has a wonderfully creamy texture. Sometimes I simply add a bit of water to it and make a dressing with lemon, lime or orange juice and pour it on my salad – yum!

Organic Raw Black Sesame Tahini

Info from their site: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/product.asp?id=53&catid=44

I do not know of any other company who is making this seed butter. It is an exclusive creation. It has a variety of medicinal benefits including: to nourish blood deficiencies, lubricate the intestines and help move the bowels. It is also high in calcium. The texture is different as it is drier and not “pourable” like the other tahini I mentioned above. The product is certified organic and kosher. Again, you can use it to make many different dished, as mentioned above. It actually looks like caviar. Black sesame seeds are utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine to nourish and fortify the liver and kidneys.

You can also check out my youtube review of these products, as I taste them “live.”
Living Tree Community Foods: Alive, Sundried, Wildcrafted, Organic and Kosher
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52yGVhs40Iw

To read more about this company and their extensive product line, go to: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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