The Walnut Farm


Aptos and Monterey


Organic walnuts in the shell


The Walnut Farm
Shawne O’Neill
17 Enos Lane
Watsonville, CA 95076

History and Philosophy

Located in Corralitos, the Walnut Farm occupies 35 acres of a 66-acre parcel. Primarily apple orchards before a walnut replanting in the 1970s, the farm was purchased by Shawne O’Neill in 2008. Overseen by foreman German Soto, the orchards, which had been untended for a number of decades, produced its first crop in 2011 — a small crop which was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank and Grey Bears. The next year, the farm produced roughly 16,000 pounds of walnuts, which were sold wholesale in Sacramento. In 2013, production jumped to 20 tons. The Walnut Farm joined the MBCFM in November 2013.

The six-week harvest begins in early October and runs through the middle of November. The trees are shook by hand and collected from the ground below.

Certification: Santa Cruz County, CCOF and California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Soil: Materials such as liquid fertilizer 5-1-1, Mar y Tierra and mushroom compost that are certified organic by OMRI and cover crop.

Weed Control: Orchard is mowed and disced.

Pest Management: Limited use of organic materials. During season, copper is sprayed two to three times to control walnut blight, and GF-120 bait is sprayed to control husk fly. Both products are certified organic by OMRI.

Water Use: Sprinklers with 30-foot long pipes with three-inch diameter are used to water the orchard from the property’s well. The ground is checked at four feet deep for moisture, and the watering is adjusted accordingly.

Workers: Two year-round and 15 seasonal employees.

Related Features

Running alongside the Corralitos Creek, the walnut orchard is also home to a number of wildlife, including coyotes, turkey, deer, eagles, chicken hawks, wild boar and even the occasional mountain lion.