Skip to main content

Episode 9: Learning to Design an Orchard with Cal Mast


This episode of the Almond Journey Podcast takes us outside of Turlock, California to the orchard of Cal Mast. Cal comes from a dairy background and purchased his 45-acre almond orchard in 2018. Over the past couple of years, Cal has spent hours researching the considerations for designing an almond orchard. He shares with us what changes he’s making, and where he finds information to make such important orchard planning decisions.

This is truly a long-term investment…. I’m not planning to replant this thing again. I want to see what I can do to make this orchard outlive me. - Cal Mast

Being his first almond orchard, Cal considers himself a student of the process. He has enthusiastically spoken with neighbors, devoured materials from extension and other groups, attended meetings and reached out to various industry leaders for advice.

I'm pleased with the contacts that I've made, the people I've gotten to know, and I've not even found all the stuff that's out there yet... I just appreciate the fact that there are people in this industry and in the allied industries...that are there to help you. - Cal Mast

In Today’s episode:

  • Meet Cal Mast, dairyman and almond farmer just outside of Turlock, California.
  • Learn about Cal’s introduction to farming almonds and the many considerations he has encountered when designing the planting of his orchard.
  • Discover the resources Cal took advantage of to make the best decisions for his operation.

ABC Update

In this episode’s ABC Update, Sebastian Saa, Almond Board of California associate director, joins us to discuss designing an orchard that reflects the latest in research and technology and takes into consideration where the industry is headed in the coming decades. He distills many of these important considerations down into a six-step approach:

  • Whole orchard recycling
  • Testing the soil
  • Irrigation considerations
  • Rootstock Selection
  • Variety Selection
  • Tree Density

The Almond Journey Podcast is brought to you by the Almond Board of California. This show explores how growers, handlers, and other stakeholders are making things work in their operations to drive the almond industry forward. Host Tim Hammerich visits with leaders throughout the Central Valley of California and beyond who are finding innovative ways to improve their operations, connect with their communities, and advance the almond industry.

ABC recognizes the diverse makeup of the California almond industry and values contributions offered by its growers, handlers, and allied industry members. However, the opinions, services and products discussed in existing and future podcast episodes are by no means an endorsement or recommendation from ABC. The Almond Journey podcast is not an appropriate venue to express opinions on national, state, local or industry politics. As a Federal Marketing Order, the Almond Board of California is prohibited from lobbying or advocating on legislative issues, as well as setting field and market prices.