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www.almondfarm.net    Click  here  for  “Carobfarm”

Completely  natural  hardshell  almonds  grown with no genetic intervention  or  chemicals  on the  slopes of  Datça  peninsula  Natural  Reserve  facing  the  Mediterranean/Aegean,  south-west  corner of  Turkey/Anatolia

(PLEASE  NOTE:  We  are  updating  our  web  site  and  some  links  will  not  work  for  a  few more  days  -  apologies)

 

 

(with all the links on this and linked pages,  please use  “back”  or  “return”  on your browser  to go back – some links simply move you up/down on the pages)

Almond varieties,  Datça peninsula,  Hardshell  almonds,  Cracking for fresh goodness

Health Benefits,  Ordering,  Distributors invited,  Datca.com,                        visit  Carobfarm

 

Almonds, together with  other tree nuts  such as  walnuts, hazelnuts  are  nature’s  gifts  for  healthy  living  while at the same time  being  tasty and  highly enjoyable in many  different  ways.  Our  specialty is  traditional varieties  of  Mediterranean  hardshell  almonds  that have been  grown on the shores  of  the  Med  for  centuries – completely naturally grown with no chemicals, genetic intervention  not even watered except by the abundant  winter/spring  Mediterranean rains.  Unfortunately,  because of  so called modern trends focusing on  cosmetic aspects  of   shape,  uniformity of  size,  yields per tree/acre,  etc.,  these wonderful  hardshell  almonds  are  now  quite  rare.  Almost all the  unshelled  almonds  that you would typically  purchase are  from  softshell  almonds,  great  majority from  California.  While providing higher yields softshell almonds are  much  more vulnerable to pest and  diseases,  storage  conditions  and  therefore  require intensive use of  chemicals, plant protection systems  (Ref: Nut Sector  paper  below).  This site is  dedicated to helping  preserve  centuries old  traditional hardshell  almond  production  in  and  around  the  Datça  peninsula  in  Eastern  Mediterranean and  to  providing  relevant details to the consumers  so  that  they  can  enjoy  almonds fresh from their  shells.  In turn we hope that  the mostly  small  family  owned  hardshell almond  orchard owners are  motivated to keep growing these wonderful almonds rather than joining the bandwagon by grafting their trees  for  softshell varieties.

 

There are also very significant recent developments  on  the  health benefits of  almonds,  especially if  eaten  fresh out of their shells. During  the  last  decade  or so,  there is  increasing  body of evidence on  the  preventive and  beneficial  health effects  of  almonds  against  prostate  cancer  (some other  nuts  have also been  shown  to have similar  beneficial effects, to a lesser  degree).  A  Google  search  for  almond   and  prostate  cancer  yields   (June 2007)  more than  seventy five  thousand  hits.  Almonds are classified among “world’s healthiest foods”, click  here  to see details.

 

There are  many types  of  almonds  but  the  Mediterranean  varieties and especially “NURLU”  from the  Datça  peninsula  are  considered  by  many  as the  best  in  natural  taste.  California now produces  the largest  amount  of  almonds  by  far  (almost all softshell)  through  extensive  genetic  improvements  that  give  very  attractive looking  almonds,  unfortunately in many cases  having  “peanut”ty  type of  taste.  This can be verified readily by side-by-side, simultaneous  tasting  of  traditional  Mediterranean  almonds  which we  provide  with  Californian  ones   (crumble slightly so that the shapes do not bias the results).  We have done this with many groups  over the years  and  the  hard-shell  NURLU  always  comes out best in flavour. The  Datça  almonds that you can obtain through this web site  are  all  this  NURLU  hardshell  type.  They are all  from  mature  trees  at  least  15  years  old,  no genetic modification of any sort,  no  chemical  products or fertilizers.  While providing higher yields softshell almonds are  much  more vulnerable to pest and  diseases  and  therefore  require intensive use of  chemicals, plant protection systems  (Ref: Nut Sector  paper  below).  NURLU  almonds can be stored in-shell  for many years and when cracked are still wonderful   (if you visit us we will  give you examples from past years).

 

We only  grow and produce  these  NURLU  hardshell  almonds  whose  variety  origins can be traced  back  thousands of years.  They are  native  to  this  area  of   Eastern  Mediterranean/ Anatolia  where, it is generally accepted by botanic  historians,  that  almond  trees  originated.

 

Datça  peninsula  is  a  large  National  Reserve  located in the  south west  corner of  Anatolia   (Turkey)   has  been  producing  almonds  for  thousands  of  years.  The peninsula has  more than a million  almond trees,  great  majority  are  mature  trees.  Because Turkey is not a member of the European Union  (and hence  CAP)  there is no incentive for almond farmers to replace  mature trees with  many new  plantings  (6-10  in the same space as an  old tree)  to  obtain more subsidies which are  generally based  on number of trees  (similar to what has happened with olive trees).  The  ages old tradition  of  planting  at  least  one  (more if there is  available land)  of  an  almond  tree  when  a  girl  is  born  to  cover  the  dowry  at  marriage  time  has been  practised  for  centuries and is still  practised.  The  Mugla  province   where  Datça  is  located  produces  a large portion of the of   the  almonds  produced in  Turkey  and  are  by far the most valued.  Because they are produced in traditional  manner  the  yields  are  low  (typically  only  ~ 1/10  of a  comparable   Californian  tree  and  ~ 1/4  of  a  Spanish  one).  In fact  per  acre  yields  are  even  much  lower  because  the  traditional  method  of  planting  leaves  large  areas  around  each  tree.  In our orchards  typical  distances  between  trees  is of the order  of   10-15  meters.  Overall  the  per  acre  yields  are  less than  5 %  of  those  in  California.  All these  contribute to the  ex­ceptional  taste of  our  almonds,  natu­rally  grown  with  no  genetic  intervention  or  chemical  fertilizers.  They must be experienced  to  appreciate the differences.

 

Almond  tree  blossoms  are  the  first of the season,  late  February and  March.  The delicate  white  flowers  last  a  short  time  and  the  harvest  is  highly dependent on  the  weather during this flowering  period.  In  May/June  baby  almonds  (çağla,  pronounced  “chala”) are  collected  by  thinning  heavily  bunched  parts of the trees.  They are a very nice  delicacy,  eaten  with  salt  and  make  an  excellent  accompaniment to  whisky, gin,  wine, tequila. 

 

Almond  harvest  for  the  natural,  indigenous varieties that we  grow,  have  fluctuated greatly  due  to  weather conditions, in  the past  few  years.  Almonds  are the first trees to flower in the Med   with their delicate  mostly  white  flowers  (start  around early  February  in  Datça peninsula)  and therefore can be vulnerable.  2005  harvest  was  poor,  2006  somewhat better,  We do not use any  chemicals,  no watering,  and  use only  local  natural fertilizers  so  the  harvest is  completely at the mercy of nature.  The  usual  abundant  Med  spring rains  have  been  less  so  and therefore  2007 is also not so good.  However,  the quantity of almonds produced  varies  but  the  quality of the  almonds  is  always  excellent  and in fact seems to be a bit better in  low harvest  years.  For more technical information on world  almond production  please  click here  refs  or see below.

 

Datça  peninsula has  only  a  few  settlements/villages  with  Datça  town  being  the  main  one  (population  ~5000).  The total  indigenous population of the peninsula is  about  double  that  with  5000  distributed  over  a  dozen  or  so  villages/settlements.  The peninsula has  the famous ancient  city of  Cnidus/Knidos  (Cnide)  at  the  end  where  prominent  geographer  STRABON  and  the famous  sculptor  PRAXITELES  (both ~4th century BC, the latter of  “Aphrodite”  fame),  lived and  worked.  Strabon’s  famous  declaration  carved in  marble  2400  years  ago  states  “Gods  place their  subjects whom they wish to live long on the  Datça  peninsula”  and  may be seen  at  Knidos.  Although  he  was  probably  referring  to  the  extraordinarily  good  weather  conditions  and  excellent local  produce,  we  also know to-day  that  many  locals  are  above  90  years  old,  and  “prostate  cancer”  is  not  known as  a cause  of  death.  Local almonds are consumed  continuously  and  also  used  in  various  dishes.

 

The  hardshell almonds  you can order through this web-site are all  of the local  NURLU  variety.  In their  perfectly  formed,  strong  shells they will  easily  keep for  many  years if stored in a  dry  and  dark  place  that  stays  cool  most of the time   (e.g.  any  cool  location, dry,  location  of a  house).  The best way to consume them is cracking them as you need them,  eating  them within  at most a  few  days.  Also,  eating  them right out of the shell is considered to be the healthiest,  although,  even  when used  in cooking the magical almonds retain many health benefits  (please see the  Google  search results mentioned above).  Please click here for hints about how best to crack almonds.

 

Unfortunately  many other almond producers are opting for  easy  to  grow,  softshell  almond  varieties which make cracking  easier,  volume/weight ratios are lower,  etc.  It would not be wrong to estimate  that  more than 95 %  of  the  almonds  that  you would typically buy  unshelled  are  from  softshell  almonds.  We do not  grow nor provide  softshell  almonds.

 

September/October  of  each  year,  that  years  new  crop  hardshell/Nurlu  almonds become  available.  If you wish to enjoy the  Med  during those months  you are welcome to  visit us and if you wish,  watch or participate in, almond harvesting in our beautiful orchards,  many  with spectacular views of the Med & Aegean   (see  www.medvillas.com) .  Prior to September we  ship  previous year’s  crop.  As mentioned  previously  hardshell  almonds  can be  easily stored  for  many  years  in  their  shells,  in  dry,  relatively cool and   dark  locations.  In fact  many  locals  store  their  shelled  produce  in   basements  and  if  an  order  is  received  (usually  for  unshelled  almonds  from  chocolate,  pastry, …,  manufacturers)  the  owner  family and neighbours  start  a “cracking  campaign”, day  and  night,  for as much of their  stock as  required  for  shipment.  Many  hundreds of  kilos of  unshelled  almonds  can thus be  made ready  in  just  a few  days.  If you visit  us in  Datça during   September  and  October  to  experience  these  unique  events.  There have been attempts  to  mechanize  this  “cracking”  (as  practised  in  USA &  more recently  in  Spain)  but  Datça  growers   are  fortunately  happy  with  their  age  old  traditions  and  we  aim to keep it that  way -  The  machinery  for  cracking  hardshell almonds   without  damaging  the  kernels  is  highly  complex  and  expensive,  approaching  one  million  dollar  figures  because of the extreme  strength of the almond shell.  This  is  also  another reason which  makes  Soft-shell  almonds  more attractive for commercial reasons  (when have you seen  Soft-shell almonds being sold in their  shell  ?  If  you do, just  compare them with the  NURLU  shells  and the difference will be instantly evident).

 

We can also  ship  the delicate  Baby   (also called  Milk)   almonds  in  May/June  (çağla)  by  airplane.  They are collected manually to thin bunches which generally aids the remaining almonds to mature better.  However,  in  all honesty,  they  have to be  eaten  off  the  tree  within  at  most  48  hours  or  so,  transportation  of  any  sort,  no matter  how  well  done  diminishes  their  delicate  texture  and  taste.  Notwithstand­ing  this,  if  you can not  make it  to  Datça  in  May/June  and  wish  to  enjoy this unique  delicacy  under  somewhat  less than ideal  conditions  we  will  airmail  some  to  you  at  cost.

 

We also  can  assign a specific mature tree  to you  (person, family, company/ organisation),  identified  clearly  in our  orchards,  and  every year  you will receive  almonds  from your  tree,  at  cost,  suitably  packaged  with  a  photo of  your  tree  and  name.  You will be most  welcome  to visit  it any  time  (we recommend  March for  flowers,  end  April/may  for  çağlas  and  Sept/October for  harvesting).  Please  inquire  details  from  Datca@almondfarm.net

 

You may order  our  hardshell  almonds  in  1  Kg,  2  Kg,   5  Kg.  gift  sacks  made of  locally hand  woven  natural  cotton  material  sent  in  boxes.  Other amounts,  including  large  bulk orders  can  also  be  made.  We only  provide   hardshell   (Datça-Nurlu  variety)  almonds  from  our  own  orchards,  in  shell,  hand  picked  and  selected.  They can be  stored  many  months  and  even  years  in  their  shells  in  dry,  relatively  cool (~20  deg  C  or  lower) storage  conditions.

 

We can also provide  unshelled  almonds,  cracked  to order  just prior to shipping.  With each such order you will also receive some  shelled  samples of the almonds  which you may crack as desired.  In fact, you can also plant these in a pot by  cracking them carefully to open slightly but not  completely  and  just  push them into a  mixture of  good  earth  about  10  cms  down.  In about  one  month  you will start seeing the  shoots.  After  about  a year or two  it will become  well over  30-40  cms  and you can plant them in a  nice  protected, warm,  corner of you garden  (we assume your winters are mild, temperature never going below  freezing,  a few degrees below for short periods is usually  OK).    

 

We invite distributors, organic/biological product sellers interested in  marketing  our  hardshell almonds  to contact us at  Datca@almondfarm.net   and/or  using  the information provided below.

 

In  shell  NURLU  almonds    (all  in  €)

Gift  sacks

1-3

4-9

10 - 20

Other  quantities

1  Kg

7 €

7.5 €

8 €

Please inquire

2  Kg

6.5  

6 €

5.5 €

 

 

 

 

 

Please inquire for other  custom  sizes/packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prices  are  for  one  sack of  given  size  in  the  quantities  indicated

Please note that  not all  sizes are possible for  each country  of destination.

Other  formats  may be possible please inquire     Datca@almondfarm.net

 

 

Unshelled  to order  NURLU  almonds  (+  in-shell  samples  which may also be planted)

Gift sacks

1

2-5

>5

500 gr net + 20 in-shell samples

(shipping weight  ~ 0.9 Kg)

12

11

Please inquire

1 Kg  net  +  50  in-shell samples

(shipping weight   ~  1.8  Kg)

18

16

Please inquire

 

 

 

 

Please inquire for other  custom  sizes/packaging

 

Prices  are  for  one  sack of  given  size  in  the  quantities  indicated

Please note that  not all  sizes are possible for  each country  of destination.

Other  formats  may be possible please inquire     Datca@almondfarm.net

 

 

Prices  are  for  each  gift  sack,  postage/shipping  extra  (depends on  destination.  Please  inquire,  we  always  make  use  of  the  most  cost-efficient  means).  Larger  amounts,  including  bulk  sacks  of  10,  20  Kgs  can   also  be  provided  if  available,  please  consult  us  at    Datca@almondfarm.net  .

 

Also we recommend that you inquire about local customs  requirements. For small amounts they are usually not  restrictive  but still need to be checked if you do not wish to be surprised  (especially for our  USA  &  Canada  customers).

 

 

Payments can be made by  all  major  credit  cards  through  PayPal.com  or  to  Euro/€,  USD/$  and  TL  bank accounts  numbers  that we  will provide.

 

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AlmondFarm-Yavuz-Somer

Balçıkhisar,  Andızlı  yol  19

İskele,  DATÇA

Muğla,  48900

TÜRKİYE/Turkey     Tel:  90 532 211 3858   or  252 712 3625   Fax:90

 

 

or  in  Netherlands

Almondfarm-E. Yavuz

Theresiastraat  105B

Den-Haag    2593 AD

Netherlands

Tel:  31 626 134 257   

 

If you are not already a PayPal user just go to www.PayPal.com. PayPal is an Internet/email payment system,  now  owned  by  Ebay,  accepting all major currencies that is linked to your credit card. It provides secure payment system with email and now has >100  million users worldwide. Registration will take just a few minutes. All you need is your email address, credit card number and its billing address. We have been using it for many   years for  thousands of transactions  with total satisfaction. It is by far the most efficient and  lowest  cost  means  for  funds  transfer.  All transactions are secured/insured !  We  as  the receiving  party  pay  standard  credit  card payment  commissions  (included  in  our  rates – you are not  charged for  them).  Overall  the  system  is very  efficient,  practical  and  secure.   We have absolutely no affiliation with PayPal, just love the convenience and security it offers.

 

Some useful reference information on  tree  nuts”  in general  and  almonds in particular

 

World’s healthiest foods – Almonds  ( .mht  file from  Internet)

 

Almond production development  in  Turkey  (ab. Title)

 

The US and World Situation: Tree Nuts   (USDA)

 

EU  Staff Paper  Analysis of Nut sector  (2002)

 

 

If you have any comments,  recommendations  about this site  please send  them  to    Datca@almondfarm.net