+ Do your products have any additives or preservatives?
Our products do not contain any additives or preservatives.
+ Are your products Gluten Free?
Yes, nuts are naturally 100% gluten free. While our seasoned almonds are gluten free they are processed in a facility that also processes products with gluten.
+ Have your products been genetically modified?
No. Our products have not been genetically modified. Genetically modified almonds and walnuts are not planted in California. New varieties and modifications are made using conventional plant breeding methods.
+ Are your nuts pasteurized?
Our almonds are pasteurized. The requirement to pasteurize almonds stems back to salmonella outbreaks in 2003 and 2004 in the U.S. and Canada linked to almonds. Following a significant amount of research, The Almond Board of California worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to require that California almonds be pasteurized and the regulation took effect in 2007. This regulation now includes nearly all almonds found in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including organic almonds. A few growers who only sell very small amounts directly to consumers can be exempt from the law. We feel that it is our responsibility to work to provide a safe, pathogen free nut to reduce the risk of illness from a healthy and popular product.
There are no requirements at this time to pasteurize other nuts; our walnuts and pecans are not pasteurized. However, like almonds, steps are taken at every level from the field to the table to ensure a safe product. This includes following Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) with traceability measures and employing stringent safety steps at our facilities to eliminate risk at all levels.
It is expected as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) goes into effect, more foods will be pasteurized. The focus of food safety has moved to prevention and reducing the risk of food borne illnesses rather reacting to outbreaks.
+ Are your Almonds raw? Can I buy them unpasteurized?
Our almonds are pasteurized. By law we pasteurize almonds before we can sell them so we do not have unpasteurized almonds for sale.
Experts confirm that pasteurization does not change the nutritional value of almonds. There are several acceptable pasteurization methods including steam, oil roasting, dry roasting, blanching or applying a surface treatment of propylene oxide (PPO), used with the approval of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for food products such as cocoa powder and spices in addition to nuts.
+ Are these Kosher?
Yes, our products are kosher certified.
+ Do your products have preservatives?
Our products do not contain preservatives or any artificial flavors, enhancers, colors, sweeteners or hydrogenated fats.
+ Do you sell organic products?
We are not currently selling organic products but we may start selling them in the future.
+ Can I go to your facility to purchase your products while I’m in town?
Yes, we are located at 19 E Grant Ave in Winters, CA. Our storefront is open Monday – Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.
+ Do you offer your products wholesale for my small business?
Yes, we do offer wholesale pricing for small businesses. Please send us an e-mail or call us at 530-662-3311 for more information.
+ When is harvest/when do the Almond trees bloom?
Our almond harvest is in the fall. The almond trees bloom in the spring (February/March). If you would like to learn more please visit the almond board website at www.almonds.com or the walnut board at www.walnuts.org.
+ What is the best storage option for your products?
We recommend that you store nuts in a cool dry place like the refrigerator or freezer. If in the original sealed package, you may store them in the package. Once opened, store in airtight container.
+ Is there a difference in taste between light and dark walnuts?
Walnuts have four natural colors when they are brought in from the orchard. They are extra light, light amber and amber. All are sold commercially and enjoyed by consumers. Light walnuts have a mild flavor with some earthy notes, subtle tannins and are widely available and perhaps most familiar. Light amber walnuts have a robust flavor, smooth tannins and a slightly sweet finish. Often the same tree will produce both light and dark walnuts.
+ Are almond growers using more than their fair share of water?
Almonds use about the same amount of water as other California fruit and nut tree crops. That’s slightly more than 2 acre-feet of water per acre, according to UC Davis experts and it is consistent with our experience. Not only is water a precious resource, it is a cost to the grower. All growers must either pay for water and its transport and delivery via pipes and canals or pay energy costs to power pumps for ground water. Efficient irrigation methods not only benefit the trees but they save water and dollars too.
Our orchards are all on micro irrigation systems or sub-surface drip systems with zero runoff. The need for water is monitored very carefully with scores of permanent soil moisture monitoring devices placed randomly at depths of 6 ft. throughout the orchards. This provides valuable evapotranspiration data. While this data is cross referenced with California’s regional automated weather stations, our equipment enables us to have data representing the needs of a very specific group of trees. This information may all be managed on a smart phone for up-to-the-minute monitoring.
+ What else is being done to insure sustainability?
Research continues to maximize the efficient use of water and develop more efficient farming practices. Efforts to decrease water runoff, determining when to irrigate an orchard rather than watering on a predetermined schedule and tracking tree status and soil moisture are ongoing.
In addition to providing a nutritious nut, once the trees are harvested there are valuable byproducts. Almond hulls are used to feed livestock and the shells are used for livestock bedding. Significant research is underway that is revealing other potential uses for almond by products.
As farmers we are committed to sustainable growing practices. To underscore this commitment, in 2009 the California Almond Sustainability Program was established to provide continuing education and better understand good practices related to water, energy, air quality, soil quality, pest management and bee health, for example.