Almond Conundrum

100_3428Well, there they go—the last of the almonds. The last I will buy for a long time.

I absolutely love almonds. They’re one of my favourite nuts. But I had already replaced most of the almonds we eat (which come from California, producer of 80% of the world’s almonds) with locally grown walnuts, in my effort to eat closer to home. Now, however, they’ll be a very rare treat.

In my post last week about our relationship with bees, I talked about how North American bees are forced to forage in agricultural monocultures, leading to poor nutrition and exposure to pesticides. The largest of those monocultures is in California’s almond growing region, where the bees are “parked” every year during almond flowering in order to pollinate the trees.

Add to that the gallon of scarce California water that goes into producing each almond, and I find I can’t keep buying them. At least not the ones at the grocery store.

BUT, in deciding that, I’ve discovered that there are NZ almond growers as close to us as Marlborough, and that, with a little coddling, we might even be able to grow them ourselves!

So, with that, I have cheerfully sworn off California almonds. I’ll be checking out my local nurseries for almond trees, and tracking down those locally produced nuts!

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