Thirty years ago Alan Townsend, an agriculture business major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, moved to Wasco, California, to work as a manager for Armstrong Nurseries. Fat Uncle Farms started when Alan planted his first almond orchard. Now 62, Alan retired five years ago and still loves working his orchard, which grows Nonpareil, the standard almond variety, and Avalon, a pollinator.
Nate Siemens got two things from UCLA; a degree in plant genetics and his wife, Bekki. Bekki is Alan Townsend's daughter, and the couple has three children, ages 2 to 13. After teaching junior high school for a few years in Los Angeles, and English in China, Nate was still searching for a career. Nate grew up just south of Wasco, California, where his own grandfather had farmed almonds, and Bekki's father's almond orchard was still in production with the entire crop being sold to Blue Diamond, a large cooperative. Almonds were calling Nate. Two years ago, Nate started creating almond products in a certified kitchen in Santa Barbara, and he and Bekki's brother, Ryan, started selling whole, slivered and blistered almonds, marzipan, almond butter, almond milk and almond meal at farmers markets. Once Nate started selling at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, sales took off. This year, he expects to sell three-quarters of the farm's crop at seven farmers markets in Southern California, the remainder will be sold to Blue Diamond.
Nuts - Almond Butter, Nuts - Almond Marzipan Sweetened, Nuts - Almond Meal, Nuts - Almond Milk, Nuts - Almonds, Nuts - Almonds Blistered, Nuts - Almonds Slivered, Nuts - Almonds Whole