Walnuts rank as one of the most widely consumed tree nuts in the world. This nutmeat has rich flavor and is full of antioxidants, omega 3s and fiber. Walnuts have a tough shell that protects two walnut halves.
California grows 98% of the U.S. walnut crop and is known for producing the highest-quality English walnuts. The U.S. crop accounts for ~40 percent of global walnuts supply. The deep, rich soil of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys combined with hot, dry summers and mild winters creates a perfect environment for walnut trees to thrive.
There are more than 30 different varieties of walnuts. Chandler and Hartley account for over half of the total U.S. walnut production. Grading walnuts in the U.S. is very different compared to grading in India and China, which is commonly done by hand. In the U.S., walnuts are shelled by machine and are sorted to select for color and percentage of halves.
California walnut harvest is from August/September through October.