Farm to Table, Now More Than Ever

  Once upon a time, I was a youngster growing up in Brooklyn, New York, in a neighborhood dominated by apartment houses, asphalt and concrete. As such, I never thought about how we got food (other than going to the supermarket), or what food looked like in its natural state. As far as I knew, […]

Posted on August 6th, 2020

The Harvest Is Coming!

Look at these sweet little nut-buds. The openings, called hull splits, ensure that these will become actual edible almonds very soon. Hull splits are the opening of the almond husks that allow the nut meats to finish developing and dry. Specifically, for all you nut nerds (we resemble that remark): according to The Almond Doctor, […]

Posted on July 24th, 2020

This Independence Day, Celebrate Family Farms

Family farms are so important! In fact, according to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the USDA, more than 90% of farms in the U.S. are classified as small family farms. That’s a lot of family love grown into our food supply. But due to factors that include climate change, giant agribusiness and […]

Posted on July 2nd, 2020

We’ve Come So Far!

Maisie Jane's first store

Sometimes it’s great to remember how it all began. Did you know that Maisie Jane’s was created as a Future Farmers of America (FFA) project when Maisie was just seventeen in her mom’s kitchen? Yup! Maisie grew up in a family that had been growing almonds for three generations. So she heard a lot of […]

Posted on January 23rd, 2020

Walnut Trees in Winter and David Hockney

David Hockney painting, East Yorkshire Walnut Trees

In winter, it sometimes seems like there is little to notice, and little to write about when it comes to nuts. But that is always when I look to famous artists—and the artist in me—for inspiration. Because there IS something I love about nut trees in winter: it’s the only time when you can plainly […]

Posted on January 16th, 2020

Words of Wisdom from the Family Farm

Maisie Jane and Her Children

Life on the farm is such a great teacher for learning to live well in harmony with the seasons and the abundance of nature. It teaches so many great lessons for how to live life! I thought I’d share a variety of quotes and words of wisdom that put it all in perspective: “To everything […]

Posted on September 17th, 2019

It’s Almond Shaking Season!

Shaking the Almond Trees

It’s the most wonderful time of the year— almond shaking season when we knock the “l” from the almonds. (We say “ah-mond” here in Chico, with “ah” pronounced like “Sam.”) Between mid-August and October, 80% of the world’s almonds are shaken from the trees in California. Some say the season actually begins in Chico. And […]

Posted on September 5th, 2019

Home in the Almond Grove

Hurtado Family

I came across a country rock song I never heard before recently by a band named Cracker that maybe some of you might know. Cracker was formed by singer-songwriter David Lowery (of Camper Van Beethoven fame) and guitarist Johnny Hickman. On their most recent album, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” is a bittersweet song called “The Almond […]

Posted on August 8th, 2019

How Almond Growers Help the Local Economy

Almonds Cracking Open in July and August

Did you know that 80% of the world’s almonds are grown right here in California? California also supplies 100% of the almonds sold in the United States. In 2016 that amounted to 2.15 billion pounds of nut meat (shelled nuts) valued at $5.2 billion in worth and $21 billion in economic revenue when products made […]

Posted on June 11th, 2019

Almond Farming is a Family Affair

Hurtado Family

Did you know that according to the 2012 USDA Agricultural Census, there are around 6,800 almond farms in California? Almost 75% of those farms are just 100 acres or less—most are under 50 acres. And even though California produces 100% of the U.S. almond supply and more than 70% of the almonds produced worldwide, 91% […]

Posted on April 4th, 2019