Dry Farmed Walnuts

Here at hOMe Grown we use the best ingredients we can find, and walnuts are of course no different. We partnered with our dear friend David of David Bailey’s Farm in Paso Robles, Central California.

David has been using dry farming techniques for over 20 years and the results are fantastic. A technique used in drier climates where water is less than abundant. David uses “tears from the sky” to irrigate crops capturing the rain water, holding it in the ground using cover crops.

Walnut farm in California

His family moved to the mountains from Malibu in 1968 when they bought their farm. Meeting local farmers who used this technique, David gained the knowledge needed for his own farm.

What makes this farm so special is the relationship David has with his staff, some of who have been with him for 20+ years. “Our philosophy with our staff is to treat them the best way we can, having lunch and talking with them as often as we can. We have the hardest working people here, working to provide a better life for their families back home”. The love that goes into growing is what makes these walnuts so incredible.

What makes dry farming special

Though less and less people dry farm now, it used to be a very popular way of growing crops. “Farming like this makes our walnuts different than conventional nuts. Light meats that are uniform in size in the shell, and extremely nutrient dense. The flavour is incredibly buttery not bitter.” Conventional irrigation methods can boost crop production up to 75% more than dry farming. The end product is noticeably different with both techniques.

Producing not only a superior product, it also helps to preserve precious water and encourage a more sustainable relationship with the land. The California Agricultural Water Stewardship Initiative explains “dry farming is not a yield maximization strategy; rather it allows nature to dictate the true sustainability of agricultural production in a region”. Best suited to coastal or foggy environments, much like the weather along the West Coast.

Benefits are the “dust mulch” layer is dry enough that not many weeds grow. This reduces weeding in organic farming, and herbicides in conventional. Using less water on crops has positive impacts on the quality of water, eliminating the carbon footprint of transporting and pumping irrigation water.

All to say, this method of farming produces a better tasting, more nutrient dense product with less ecological disruption.

While this won’t be the solution to all Agricultural issues, it can be used as part of a plan to move towards more sustainable farming and more resilient crops. Though unconventional and hard work, dry farms continue to thrive.

Health benefits

Walnuts are known to be a rich source of Vitamin E, Potassium, Magnesium and Omega 3.

Thank you David, for such a beautiful product we are proud to share with our customers.

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