At Big Tree Organic Farms we don’t just want to sell organic, we want to live organic.
Our environment is our future, and we know that it is our responsibility to protect our future. In being an organic co-op, we strive to promote sustainability in every aspect of our company.
Our farmers are always looking for and finding new ways to do this.
Although our main goal is to produce and provide the highest quality organic almonds, we also want our consumers to know all the other little and big ways that Big Tree Organic Farms growers are exercising sustainability. Whether it’s in their orchards, their gardens, homes or personal life; for many of our farmers “going green” doesn’t’ just stop at the almond tree.
The bird box in this photo, located at the Edrington ranch, is common to many of our growers’ orchards. Birds are important to our almonds’ growing process. They hunt harmful insects, which is very beneficial as no pesticides are used on Big Tree Organic Farms’ orchards. On the other hand, our farmers want to try to give these birds a home outside of our almond trees, to protect the crop’s cleanliness and growth.
Larger owl boxes, used at a number of our orchards as well, create homes for our larger flying friends and their families. Owls are also a natural way of discouraging bigger predators and unwanted critters from disrupting our almonds’ growth cycle.
One of our growers said, “I heard an Einstein quote once that said, ‘if bees were eliminated from our planet, mankind would perish within four years’ “. There is a lot of debate over whether Albert Einstein ever said that, but this farmer strongly believes in this quote’s prediction.
As we all know, bees are our primary pollinator. They are what bring about the delicious almonds that we grow here at Big Tree Organic Farms. Bee boxes can be seen at the majority of our orchards. They are systematically and carefully rotated around our growers’ orchards during springtime, when the nuts are blossoming. The bee boxes aid in keeping a plentiful amount of bees buzzing around, doing what they do best.
Another way that some of our growers, like the Kiriharas, encourage bees to stay around during blossom season is by planting additional greenery throughout their orchards. The Kiriharas expertly choose sweet herbs and other flowers that bees love, and plant these all around the borders of their almond orchards. This is a more natural method of attracting bees; and at the same time makes their orchards look and smell even more wonderful.
The Koch family utilizes a technique of keeping chickens in their almond orchards. Fresh chicken manure is a wonderful natural fertilizer. While the chickens in this picture are in a coop, they are protected by a shade overhead and have plenty of room to run about. As well as fertilizing the almond trees, the chickens also help with pest control in the orchards. There are guidelines and time periods that are strictly followed when this method is used.
The picture here, taken at the Sikma’s farm, is one of many, which showcases the beauty of our organic almond orchards. Because no pesticides or herbicides are used in our orchards, it gives natural plant life and wildflowers the freedom of growing. The goldens, dark greens, purples, and whites of all the wild plant life, is one of the ways you can determine, as a passerby, that an orchard is organic.
Kay Kirihara commented that, “all the extra plant life gives our orchards a more ‘foresty’ feel, making it more pleasing to the eye.”
Each one of our growers’ orchards is unique and although they all have the same organic standards to follow, different sustainable practices are used throughout. All of our growers are dedicated to the practices that will lead our generations on to a healthy and sustainable tomorrow.