OLDWICK, N.J. (PIX11) – There’s a New Jersey family that has been in the apple business since before the American Revolution.
Melick’s Town Farm has some of the most popular apple cider sold in Northern New Jersey.
“We produce over 100,000 gallons a year,” said Peter Melick, co-owner and 10th-generation farmer. “We start with apples, we pick them, run them through a washer and then they’re inspected. And then they’re ground up into a very course applesauce.”
A hydraulic press then squeezes all the juice out of that mash, sending the cider cascading down to its final phase.
“From there, it’s treated with ultraviolet light to kill any pathogens that might be in there and to give it shelf life,” said Peter Melick. “Then it’s cooled, and then we bottle it, and then we sell it and then you drink it.”
They also make a sparkling cider and even a hard cider. It all starts out in their orchard overlooking Hunterdon County’s Sourland Mountain ridge.
The farm is currently being operated by the family’s ninth, 10th and 11th generations.
“We must be doing something sustainable, I guess, if we can have that type of success over that duration,” said John Melick, co-owner and brother of Peter. “It’s a difficult business we’re in. It’s not for everybody, but we’re trying to provide the opportunities so that the 11th generation can successfully make a living doing exactly what we’re doing.”
“It’s an honor to be able to continue what our ancestors started,” said Peter Melick.