Walnut History

Walnuts can be traced back thousands of years. The walnut tree’s formal botanical name, Juglans regia, is Roman of origin and means “the royal acorn of Jupiter”. History points to the walnut originating in ancient Persia, calling it the ‘Persian walnut’, however, archeological remains of walnuts were found as far eastward as the Himalayas as well as west and northwest of Persia into Turkey, Italy, and Switzerland. There are even claims of records mentioning walnut groves in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Mesopotamia. The walnut spread further was they were traded along the “Silk Road” and eventually made its way to England. English merchants transported the product for trade across the globe and they soon became known as the “English walnut”.

In the 18th Century Franciscan Monks established missions in California and began planting walnut trees as a part of their teachings. These walnuts became known as the ‘mission walnuts’. Walnut groves became established in the 1870’s on land grants in Southern California near Santa Barbara. In 1867, Joseph Sexton, a horticulturist, planted the first commercial English walnut grove in Goleta, a small town in Santa Barbara County. For several years, walnuts were mostly planted in the southern areas of California, accounting for 65% of all bearing acreage. In the late 1930s , the California walnut production moved northward to the Central Valley area where improved irrigation, better pest control, rich soil and better climate that resulted in greater yields, increasing yearly. Today, California produces 99% of the commercial United States walnut supply.

Health Benifits

  • Help to improve bone heath
  • Prevents coronary heart diseases
  • Beneficial in reducing risk of diabetes
  • Aids in improving metabolism in body
  • Prevents growth of cancerous cells in body
  • Helps to alleviate mood of children and adults