In addition, this year we have brought in our raw whole almonds from this same remarkable company.
Treehouse Almonds has a huge, state-of-the-art processing facility and they’re well-known for their high-quality almonds and sustainable farming and business initiatives. Their own farm, as well as the select few farmers that they purchase from, have upgraded to solar-powered irrigation systems, micro-drip/spray water-emitters and high-tech field-management systems. They also have over 1,000 acres preserved under land-conservation easements! To top this all off, they’re also certified Bee-Friendly, and you’ll soon learn just how seriously they, and their farmers, take that responsibility.
Because of the huge demand worldwide for almonds, Treehouse doesn’t produce enough almonds from their own farms alone, so they also purchases almonds from other farmers. One of their main sources is Gardiner Farms, a third-generation operation managed by three brothers that has been growing almonds since the early 1980s.
Gardiner Farms is truly a family affair. Brothers Joe, John and Jim work closely together to bring us some of the best almond crops we have ever tasted. The family farm was started by the boys’ grandfather in the early 1900s, growing cotton. However, as the demand for cotton dwindled in the 1980s, and with it the value of the crop, the family needed to make a change. It was then that they decided to take a risk and invest in planting their first almond orchards. It took several years for the trees to begin producing good yields. However, the investment paid off and the family developed a reputation for producing exceptional quality almonds.
Almonds and bees have a symbiotic relationship – they need each other to thrive. As the business grew, the Gardiners had to rent hives to pollinate their trees. However, with it becoming an ever-greater need, and being visionaries like their father, they decided to take over United Honey Bee. Their beekeeping operation cares for more than a billion bees and this has become Jim’s, the eldest brother’s, passion. Having local bees to pollinate the orchards reduces the stressors of having to ship bees from across the country, while still providing the almond trees with the pollinators they need and the bees with their food.
John, the middle brother, lives on the farm and oversees the operations. He’s there for the delicate care of the almond trees during the spring bloom to the busy rush of work during the late summer harvest. He makes sure that the trees receive the best of care and have all their needs met, while making sure the business is run efficiently and sustainably.
The youngest brother, Joe, is the first to handle the almonds once they have been harvested. He’s the person whom we’ve been buying Treehouse almonds from since the beginning and he oversees not only the sales but hulling, shelling, blanching, roasting, slicing and more. We had the opportunity to meet Joe in person this past summer and we came away very impressed with his knowledge and passion for this business. We enjoyed a very informative tour of the Treehouse Almonds facility, which makes us proud to bring these almonds into Canada to share with you.
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