Organic Almond Farming- Good For Your Health, Good For Our Planet
We are a small family farm, working to help our beautiful planet by practicing organic, bee friendly farming techniques to produce the sweetest, healthiest raw almonds available. Our 27 acre, fourth generation, certified organic almond orchard is located in Chico, CA. We farm and sell directly to you. Truly unpasteurized, certified organic almonds! We also sell certified organic, dry-roasted almond butter.
Bee Friendly Almond Farming
We are planting and helping native plants alongside our orchard to improve the biodiversity and habitat for bees and other pollinators. Beneficial insects have a hard time with mono-cropping, pesticides, and herbicides used by conventional farming. We do not till the soil at all and keep a year round ground cover of grass, clover, and happy dandelions under the almond trees. This preserves homes for ground nesting bees and also conserves water and prevents erosion. Our bees that are used for pollination come from a neighbor, not brought in from far away. Our beekeeper likes to use the native vegetation alongside our orchard to breed his queen bees long after the almonds have bloomed, because it is such good habitat for them.
Organic and Water Conscious Farming Techniques- Because It Matters
We have recently finished installing a state-of-the-art, computer controlled, electric irrigation pump, which is completely powered by solar panels. The pump delivers water to subterranean drip lines, so there is no water lost to evaporation and wind. Furthermore, our high-tech system monitors the soil moisture hourly with ground probes at 1 feet, 2 feet, 3 feet, and 4 feet depths, so we know exactly when and how much water to irrigate. The pump’s computer charts a graph of the moisture levels that we can access from our laptop and smartphones to constantly monitor the ground’s moisture content, so there is no guesswork, and therefore no excessive water input either.
We are also proud to be farming our almonds organically, without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides of any kind. Farming almonds this way is much more labor intensive, and the yield per acre is less than with conventional almonds. Instead of using chemical fertilizers, which are often sprayed directly on the bees and other insects, we are building the topsoil each year by spreading literally tons of high quality, organic compost. This feeds the trees naturally and promotes a healthy, living soil full of beneficial micro-organisms, worms, mushrooms, and insects which don’t survive in soils low in organic matter and exposed to chemicals.
In addition, almonds are harvested off of the ground, so weed control is essential to farming them. Most orchards mow between the rows of trees, and strip-spray the rows with herbicides, where they can’t mow. Even so-called “no spray” almond orchards are strip sprayed to control weeds where the tractors can’t mow or disk. To clear the strips organically, without spaying, we have to use flaming to burn the weeds with a torch. This is a very slow process, and has to be done much more often than with herbicides. Because strip spraying with herbicides is fast and easy compared to flaming, it is done in almost every almond orchard that isn’t certified organic. Buying certified organic almonds is the only way to know for sure that they are grown without chemicals of any kind. And buying almonds direct from the farmer is the only way to know if your almonds are unpasteurized and truly raw.