The California Walnut Industry
The Central Valley of California is home to over 220,000 acres of walnut orchards, which account for 99% of U.S. production. The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,000 growers and 81 handlers (processors) whose walnuts are shipped to more than 40 countries and represent three-quarters of world trade.
The first commercial walnut plantings began in 1867 when Joseph Sexton, an orchardist and nurseryman in the Santa Barbara County town of Goleta, planted English walnuts. Soon, walnuts were planted in many areas of southern California and accounted for 65% of all bearing acreage.
Some 70 years later, the center of California’s walnut production moved northward in one of the most dramatic horticultural moves in history. Better growing areas, along with improvements in irrigation resulted in greater yields, which gradually increased each year. Today, the Central Valley of California is the state’s prime walnut growing region.
Table of Contents
- Why California Walnuts? 1
- Harvesting, Processing & Grading 2
- Nutrition Information 3
- Health Benefits 4
- California Walnuts for Product Developers 6
- Facts 7
- Selecting the Right Walnut Form 8
- Sizes & Colors 10
- Storage & Usage Tips 14
- California Walnuts Formulations 15