Fall is my favorite time of year – not only because I get to bust out my autumn leaves scented candle and put cinnamon in everything I bake, but also because it’s walnut harvest season! Here are some nutty harvest facts that may surprise you:
1. 99% of walnuts in the US are grown in California’s Central Valley – and 100% of Diamond of California® Walnuts are sourced from California growers!
2. Dating back to 7000 B.C., walnuts are the oldest food tree known to man.
3. California is home to nearly 325,000 acres of walnut orchards. That’s enough to cover the entire city of Los Angeles.
4. Walnut trees produce, on average, 3,500 pounds of walnuts per acre.
5. California produces roughly 1 billion pounds of walnuts every year. Load them up on trucks and they would stretch from Los Angeles all the way to San Francisco!
6. Walnut trees take about 5 years before they are considered productive, after which they produce an annual crop for 30 to 40 years.
7. It takes about 170 days for a walnut to develop and mature on a tree.
8. Walnuts are harvested between September and November.
9. In the early 1900’s walnuts were knocked off trees with long poles and heavy mallets, then collected by hand. Today’s technology allows growers to harvest an average of 30 acres per day with just one machine.
10. Walnuts can be eaten directly from the tree, but the flavor is milder and the texture is softer compared to nuts that have been dried.