During the 1950’s, investigative study projects were undertaken to expand and broaden the U.S. agriculture industry. Seeds, cuttings, trees, etc. were obtained from a spectrum of countries and cultivated in America in order to determine the feasibility of growing new crops. One of these experiments involved pistachio nuts. After several years of experimenting with many varieties of the pistachio nut family, the Kerman nut from the province of Kerman, Iran was determined to be a viable new crop. The Kerman pistachio was well suited for production growing in specific parts of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The tree requires a moderate amount of water for optimum production, specific temperature conditions that promote dormancy yet will not sustain freeze damage, and soil conditions that enhance growth and contribute to the nuts unique flavor. All these conditions exist in all the growing states; however, the very best conditions exist in New Mexico. That is why New Mexico pistachio nuts are the best.
The nut grows on a tree. A full-grown tree is about 20-25 feet tall. Typically, an orchard contains 100-130 trees per acre. Trees are male and female trees with a male to female ratio of 1:12. The trees flower in April and nuts are harvested in September. The nuts grow in clusters similar to grape clusters. The nut has an outer skin (epicarp). The nut “splits” will growing on the tree.
Processing of the nut begins by shaking the nut from the tree, removing the epicarp; drying the nut; sorting by size, split/unsplit, and color; and roasting and seasoning.
Our orchard contains about 6,000 trees on 40 acres. We started farming in 1990 with the purchase of 40 acres containing about 1500 young trees. We have added more trees as the years progressed. We are striving to become a vertically integrated farming operation where we grow the commodity, process the food product, and market directly to the purchaser. Our family farm objective is to provide a quality product that will satisfy customers who will want to buy from us for years.