Pictured is the wonderful farm store of Costa Produce in Escalon, California. Outside the door you can see the almond groves. Inside, fresh almonds, fruit, dried fruits, produce, jellies, jams, syrups and seasonal pumpkins, relishes and other tasty treats are sold. Much of it comes straight from the fields. Store is open May through September/October. Address: 27642 State Highway 120, Escalon, CA 95320. Call before going: (209) 838-6365.
Mooove over California REAL milk. Almond growers in California say they have knocked milk out of first place to become the state's top export in 2010-2011. While there's a bit of jockeying for such claims (combined milk products-milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt) still are tops, most almond growers are relishing the fact that their investment that has yielded in such a big way.
Almond trees take around five years to yield a crop and 2010 became the tipping point for a wave of growers who switched from less profitable vegetables and other field fruits to almonds around 2004-2006. In addition to the already active almond growers in California, the new batch of businesses have catapulted almonds into an international force.
Growing almond trees: While the seedlings are hard to find because of the popularity of almonds and studies that have shown the food benefits of this healthy fruit, many Californians can actually grow almond trees in their yard.
Almonds are good for you!
Points of interest: At the Heidrick Ag Center in Woodland you can visit the farm machinery museum and see interesting machines used to collect and process almonds.