My birthday request: help us transform almond agriculture!

Problem: we don’t have an ecologically produced source of almonds.

Even the organic farms we buy from are monocultures.

 

Solution: create biodiverse food forests from which to source the nuts and seeds that we use for our products.

 

What I want for my 27th birthday: you to help us sprout Almondia, the world’s first ecological almond orchard!

 

This would be the best birthday gift ever. I bet you or some people you know could help give it to me!

On Earth Day 2013, I founded The Philosopher’s Stoneground as a mission-driven sprouted nut and seed butter company with the goal of using its profits to create Almondia, the world’s first Permaculture almond orchard to supply the nuts and seeds for our products with ecological methods of food cultivation.

We call our open source business model “Nourishing the Roots.” The model works like this: a food product company creates demand for ingredients and starts generating revenue in their product sales. Revenue is used to support or establish an ecological agriculture project that wholesomely grows ingredients for the company. The cycle is established: land feeding company feeding people feeding land.

Excess revenues can be used to support and establish further orchards. In this way, we will create self-seeding systems of abundance that nourish Life at every level in every step of the production and consumption processes.

 

Now, after nearly a year in the food business, I am seeing that the margins of this industry are relatively low and that it could take quite some time (and an exponential degree of scaling up) to achieve this vision. I am willing to devote myself to this cause, but I am also wondering whether the food product business on its own is the best (or only) tool with which to create the biodiverse orchards to supply our company and provide a bounty of other types of food that could provide income for other farmers and food businesses.
Moreover, after a phenomenally inspiring conference called Permaculture Voices two weeks ago, I am seeing that I want to put this orchard in the ground NOW. As the old adage goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time was yesterday, and the third best time is NOW!I, like many of us, am feeling the urgent need to radically redirect the course of human activity on this planet starting with my own actions, and implementing regenerative agriculture projects is one of the best ways to do so, particularly here in the world food production capital of California.

Planting Almondia would allow us to become vertically integrated as the first nut and seed butter company to source its nuts and seeds from an ecological food forest rather than from industrial scale monocultures. The problems of almond monoculture cannot be understated.

California orchards produce 85% of the world’s almonds, but unfortunately the status quo of large scale almond monoculture is detrimental to the health of the trees, bees, ecosystems, and people involved (even when it’s organic, though to a lesser degree). Nature does not work in monocultures; neither should we, if we hope for true abundance and resiliency.

I am working on writing an article detailing these facts, but in the meantime, I would recommend reading this article on the drought and California almonds as well as watching the documentary More Than Honey. This film chronicles the largest human-induced pollination event on the planet, which happens every spring when beekeepers nationwide ship their bees to pollinate California’s almond orchards. This event is a major contributing factor to Colony Collapse Disorder, which has been decimating bee populations.

Why make it the distant goal of our company to establish an orchard with money that will come slowly over time, when we already have a company whose connections could sprout an orchard NOW? Why individually plan to make a better world later when we know we need to act together to create one NOW?

Once we have one example established, we will continue to sprout a vibrant network of Permaculture orchards as quickly, powerfully, and abundantly as the thousands of seeds we sprout every day. Can you imagine re-creating California’s Central Valley into the abundant cornucopia that it was before modern extractive agriculture laser-leveled it into a desert??

Given that this new Aries moon happening today is such a powerful time to plant seeds of intention in this astrological new year, and the fact that my 27th birthday was yesterday, why not ask the universe for something I really want? I am requesting help from your portion of this great universe to attract a parcel (or parcels!) of land on which we can plant our food forests!

The land can be anywhere that has the climate (and the water!) to support almond trees. I am looking for collaborators in this project, including landowners, financial wizards, and land use wizards helping on the ground with design and implementation.

For an example of farm-scale Permaculture that already exists in a different part of the world, see my favorite land use wizard Mark Shepard’s video, look at his New Forest Farm in Wisconsin, or read his book “Restoration Agriculture.”

I recently had the privilege of participating in a two-day workshop with Mark on creating drought-tolerant food forests. I learned beyond any shadow of a doubt that not only is this new type of perennial polycultural food production possible, but it is happening now!

We are collaborating to form a network of Permaculture food growers and manufacturers and we need more folks to get involved with this pursuit. For conscious consumers, sourcing food from holistically sustainable biodiverse farms represents the next level of conscious consumption.

I am confident that the breath of humanity represented by you reading this webpage and your web of relationships is more than enough to germinate the seeds of these projects. All we need is to cross-pollinate to help each other make the connections!

 

How can you help us manifest an ecological food production system? Any thoughts, connections, land to utilize, or other offerings would be much appreciated. Email me at tim(at)thephilosophersstoneground.com with your contribution to this piece of the mysterious Universe puzzle.

Remember that real wealth comes in the form of clean air, pure water, healthy soil, and rich symbiotic relationships between all the organisms that share Life on this planet.

wishing you well with your part of The Great Work,
Tim

Comments

  1. JD Mateja says

    Tim, I admire your quest and am so proud for anyone who does things like you are doing. I do buy your product almost every week, and each bottle is truly a gift. I live off a large amount of home grown sprouts and sprouted products like yours. i do buy from Blue Mountain Organics too, they offer quite a variety of seed and nut butters, although their almond butters are delicious, they are not like yours. Good luck with your goals!

    • Tim says

      Thanks, JD! Glad you are reverently enjoying our product like the sacred gift it is. Where do you buy our products? We are currently experimenting with soaked pecan, walnut, and cashew butters (as neither of the first two sprout when they are processed into halves, cashews not at all after processing). We are also considering an expansion into coconut butters. We will keep you posted when we’re ready to debut these products!

      • JD Mateja says

        Tim, I usually buy at Rainbow in SF, as I did yesterday, and even convinced a stranger to buy TPS Alchemy over another butter they were looking at. I also have bought at the seed back and good earth, and a friend just showed me good egg, which I see also has TPS available. Probably get it from there next time. How big is the stone grinder in the picture on your website, we keep debating the size, but it is hard to tell?

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