Over the years Mountain Man had watched the prices in pistachios continually rise. They wanted to keep their prices low enough that customers would buy their product but it was becoming increasingly hard to do so with the current state of things. They decided to cut out the middleman and buy their own orchards. They were given the opportunity in 2013 when a small 44 acre pistachio orchard came up for sale and Mountain Man jumped on it.
In addition to this producing orchard, Mountain Man also decided to purchase additional acreage for future development of pistachios, walnuts and pecans. In 2013 Mountain Man decided to purchased 1,950 acres of land in Arizona to use for growing pistachios. Currently, they have 44 acres of land that produce pistachios. Mountain Man is looking into using the rest of the land to plant pecan and walnut trees. This process takes a while because the trees need time to mature into nut producing trees. For the first couple years of a tree’s life they do not produce, and if they do it is not a big supply. Mountain Man is now able to produce all their own pistachios and they have been able to for the past two years. They are now able to save customers money because their costs have gone down substantially.
Pistachios are among the healthiest nuts, but they can also be some of the most expensive. This is because of the difficulties it takes to grow them. Like most nuts, pistachios take a long time to grow. From the time the tree is originally planted it takes about 7-10 years for the tree to start bearing a significant crop. These trees are also alternate-bearing or biennial-bearing, meaning the harvest is heavier in alternate years. A huge crop one year will mean the next years crop will be smaller. Another difficulty in growing pistachios trees is that they need a very specific climate to grow and mature. It has to be very hot and dry during the summer months but it needs to be cool enough during the dormant months of pistachios life cycle for the tree to grow properly.
With the help of local farmers in Arizona, Mountain Man has been able to produce very successful crops. The pistachio farms are maintained by local Arizona farmers. Each year in September they harvest the crops by shaking the pistachio trees till all the nuts fall out and then they bring them to their facilities where they can then treat them. At their facilities they remove the husks, clean, and dry them. At their facilities they also dry roast and salt the pistachios. They are then ready to be shipped to Mountain Man’s facilities in Colorado where they can be packaged and sold!