What’s the difference between organic and conventional almonds?

We don’t use synthetic chemical products such as fumigants, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers in our orchard. In addition, no genetically engineered products are used at any time. These products would disrupt the natural balances we’ve established in our twenty-two years of organic farming.

Why buy organic?

For us, going organic was an easy decision since we had already been farming as simply as we possibly could prior to becoming certified organic. For our customers, choosing organic is a decision to buy food that is good for the earth as well as their bodies. We’re probably biased, but we find organic food tastes better too.

How do almonds grow?

As amazing as it is to us, many people have never seen a real live almond tree. And yes, that’s the first clue — a tree. Almonds are in the same family as peaches. So if you’ve seen a peach tree, you’ve seen something very similar to an almond tree. Commercial almond trees are grafted (yes, a highly technical farming term — imagine a branch fused onto a root) onto peach roots because they have a stronger root system. The almond nut grows in a shell that can be found inside a hull. The almond hull is the equivalent of the peach fruit, but dries up as the nut matures.

When do you harvest your almonds?

Our almond trees bloom in February and March. The nuts grow through the summer and harvest happens in fall — usually late August through early October.

How do you make your almonds taste so good?

In some ways, this is a mystery to us too. But we do work hard to make our trees happy (because happy trees = happy customers). So here’s what we do in a nutshell (sorry, bad pun). Over our twenty years of organic farming, we’ve had the chance to observe natural principals of soil development both in our field and in the nearby Sierra Nevada forests. By encouraging earthworm and microbial activity, we foster the incorporation of twigs, compost, and rock dust into the top layers of our soil. This process results in humus-rich soil that’s one of the fundamentals of good organic farming.

Why are organic almonds more expensive than conventional?

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, demand for organic products has grown rapidly since we first began farming organically. Second, our farming practices are in some ways more labor intensive than conventional farming. For more insight on our production process, please see our gallery.

Is it possible to visit your farm?

Yes, we love having visitors! Please contact us in advance to schedule a visit. If our schedules allow it, we’re happy to show our visitors the surrounding area as well.

 


©2010 Anderson Almonds
ph. 209-667-7494
glenn@andersonalmonds.com

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