Things Are Nuts In California! And We Never Knew How Much, Day 88

nuts in california
05 Dec

When we say things are nuts in California, we mean it!

As we traveled out of Napa Valley towards Merced, we never imagined what we were about to see in the landscape.

Within about 20 miles south of Napa the crops in the fields changed from acres upon acres of grape vines to tree farms.

At first we assumed that they were fruit trees. We knew California produced and harvested a ton of fruit and it made sense to us that is what we were seeing.

nut trees in California
Everywhere we turned, we were surrounded by nut trees.

So our minds immediately went to thinking they were apple, apricot, plum and pear trees.

However, within a few minutes, we quickly realized that they were actually nut trees.

Just like we were shocked when we found out over 99% of American hazelnuts were grown in Oregon.

We were just as shocked to learn that the rest of the tree nuts are grown in California.

California almonds
California is the largest commercial producer of almonds in North America.

And as much as I would like to think that we were smart enough to figure out which trees we were passing by, we weren’t. However, luck for us, there were signs along the fields that helped us identify them.

The Nuts In California – The Trees Of Merced County

One of the most popular nuts in California, and all over the world, are almonds. And during our drive we saw several tree farms that are home to thousands of almond trees.

California is the largest almond producer in the world. And it is the only place in North America where almonds are grown for commercial use.

nuts in california
Although the nut trees have been picked for the year, they are still beautiful.

In fact, we even saw the Blue Diamond Warehouse and The Almond Factory as we drove down Highway 99.

But we quickly learned that almonds aren’t the only nuts grown in California.

Within a 20 mile radius, you will find walnut, pecan and even pistachio trees.

Even though they may ripen at different times, there is one thing that you will find common among all nut trees in California.

The irrigation that surrounds every row of every tree farm in California.

They all require irrigation. Although this has been a rainy week in California, during the summer, the rain is nearly non-existent.

During our trip to the central valley we had the privilege to see fields that were in all different stages of planting.

From open, tilled fields that held lines of irrigation only, to trees that were planted decades ago, they were all beautiful.

newly planted nut trees
We were shocked at the amount of new nut trees that have been planted in the area.

So next time that you pull out a bag or jar of nuts, take a look to see where they came from. Chances are the nuts may have been grown and harvested from a California field that we passed along on our journey across America.

Happy Traveling – Jim and Mary


  • Day 88 of 365
  • States : 11 / 50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 11
  • Stayed In : Merced, California
  • Miles Driven : 163.2
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 9013.2
  • Total Gallons Used : 672.63
  • Biking Miles : 0.0
  • Biking Miles To Date : 142.5
  • Hiking Miles : 0.0
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 189.5

About Our Living Simple Tour

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

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