Orchard – Almonds

“I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God.’
And the almond tree blossomed.”

Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco

Why Almonds?

Almonds may very well be one of the healthiest and most useful foods around. Almond trees are my first choice of nut tree. They have a mild pleasant flavor that lends itself to both sweet and savory dishes. They are an excellent source of poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega fatty acids, essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

One ounce of almonds contains about 161 calories, 6 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrate and 15 grams of fat. The 15 grams of fat is mostly monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy fat that increases HDL, or good, cholesterol.

Aside from fats, nuts are also a great source for protein and fiber and offer trace elements that might not otherwise be available in a subsistence lifestyle.

Almonds themselves are an excellent source of 7 of the 9 essential amino acids (proteins).

An essential amino acid is one that cannot be made by the body, and so must be consumed in order to be used or replaced.

My plan

Stark Bros is kinda my go to for finding trees that grow in my area. They have the easiest way to check. Just put in your zip-code and they put a check mark next to all the trees that grow in your zone.

Stark Bros sells an “All-in-One” Almond tree that is hardy in zones 5-9. Michael wants to plant 5 of every tree, so we are looking at a possible expense of $150 just for the almond trees if purchased from Stark Bros. I will need to check out the local nursery to see what they have available before I make any online purchases.  The nice thing about these trees is they are self pollinating, so I don’t need a different variety in order to produce almonds.

Most trees are already a couple of years old when purchased. Almond trees produce fruit around year 5, so we will be on target for our move if we can get the well in and the trees planted by early spring next year.

almonds-1239120_640Many people don’t know that almonds are actually the seed from a fruit much like the pit of a peach or nectarine. The fruit is fairly stiff and is often referred to as a hull rather than a fruit due to is basic inedible nature. They typically grow 12-15 feet tall, but hopefully we can train it to be much shorter. Because it is technically a “fruit” tree, I have high hopes this will work.

Hall’s Hardy Almond is also supposed to grow in my zone, but they are not deliverable in Oregon for some reason.

Almonds like peaty well drained soil. I plan to build rows and amend the soil with coco-peat at planting. With the well in, I plan to set up an auto drip system for when we are away from the property. We can turn this off during the winter season, and on when we return in the spring.

If you have any other thoughts or advice on planting almond trees, feel free to share in the comments below. I welcome the help. 🙂

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