Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I buy Big Tree Organic Farms almonds?
A: First, check out our Products page for a list of fine retailers that sell our products!!
If you can’t find our almonds locally, then you can visit our webstore
For commercial purposes and larger orders contact our office.

Q: Are Big Tree Organic Farms almonds processed with other nuts?
A: Our almonds are processed in “almonds-only” facilities.

Q: Why should I pay more for organic almonds?
A: Organic farming is more expensive, more risky, and delivers lower yields than “conventional” almond farming.
- Expensive: Extensive labor and numerous passes with a mower are the substitutes for herbicides (chemical weed control), and organic nutrient products are more expensive than synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. There are fees for Organic Certification, Inspections, and State Organic Registration. Also, service providers, like shellers, sometimes charge organic farmers extra for running organic almonds through their facility.
- Risky: Spring rains can ruin an Organic crop, since there are no organically approved methods to control orchard infections once they take hold.
- Lower Yields: Organically farmed almond orchards usually produce 25% less than their “conventionally” farmed counterparts.
With all the great benefits for not only our environment but our bodies as well, it seems to be worth that extra bit of money.

Q: What exactly is “organic farming”?
A: Click here to go to our Why Organic page for a full answer.

Q: How should I store my Big Tree Organic Farms almonds?
A: For the longest lasting, freshest almonds, you should store them in air-tight containers, in a cool dry place, out of sunlight. If you refrigerate your almonds, they can last for several months; store them in the freezer and they can last for up to a year.

Q: What are “Transitional” Almonds?
A: Converting almond orchards to organic is a strict three-year process. “Transitional” Almonds are the product of almond trees that are still in that conversion period.
More “Transitional” information. 

Q: Are Big Tree Organic Farms almonds pasteurized?
A: Yes, this is now an “outgoing standard,” which began September 1, 2007, and was determined by the almond industry and approved by USDA. All almonds must be treated to affect a 4-log reduction of Salmonella Enteriditis Phage Type 30, with very limited exception. So, some people just shorthand this treatment requirement as “pasteurization.”
More pasteurization information.

Q: What pasteurization methods are used?
A: At Big Tree Organic Farms, we currently use the technology available through H2O Express. In this process, the almonds, in their bulk containers, are placed in a vacuum sealed chamber. Periodically through the process, minimal amounts of heat and steam are introduced into the environment.

Q: Do the almonds sprout?
A: We have done some small, in house experiments with our own almonds, after they have been through this process. We successfully “sprouted” the almonds after the process, which leads us to believe that the “pasteurization” process is indeed a SURFACE treatment, leaving the rest of the almond alive and well. We also have Lab results showing a marked reduction in Plate Count, Yeast, and Mold levels after the process. After these results we have concluded that this process will be a step up in quality for our customers. And we also feel confident saying that the post-treatment almond is still raw.

Q: Is it true that all California almonds must go through irradiation?
A: No, this is completely false. This is a technology that has not even been considered by the Almond industry and is not allowed in Organic food production or processing.