Cassi with NicNut Farms

Episode #80: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson and this week we have a very special guest joining us, Cassie Nicolaus Crowley! Cassi owns and runs NicNut Farms here in Northern California, just down the road from me. NicNut Farms is the daughter of eight generations of family farming, started by her father George, who brought the family farm Nicolaus Nut Company out of Iowa in the 1970’s to Chico, CA., determined to forge a new path out west.

Today, Cassi’s mission is to see Nicolaus Nut Company, reincarnated into NicNut Farms, moved into the next generation, going beyond producing excellent almonds and walnuts, embracing the vision of climate-smart agriculture, community, and leaving the planet better than she found it. 

Ready? Listen in…


Owner, New Gen

Born in Northern California, my childhood was punctuated by the farming seasons. From spring bloom to fall harvest, I grew up amongst the trees, the equipment, and the elements. From a young age, I watched my father grow his almond and walnut operation, always willing to take on a new challenge. 

Truthfully, I had no intention of taking over the farm. For me, I have always been avid studier and lover of people. That passion led me to concentrate most of my professional pursuits in community-focused non-profits, and even a Master of Social Work degree. However, I realized that the farm had so much to give to the local community – sustenance, education, employment, security, and land conservation. So, for me, NicNut Farms is fulfilling a dream to serve others and preserve our ancient agricultural connection with the soil. Life these days is mostly family, farm, and coffee. It’s a good life.


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0:01 Welcome to the She Builds Show.

0:03 I’m your host, Stefanie Olson, a licensed general contractor who builds new construction, renovates, and designs your vision today.

0:12 More than ever, we need raw, authentic women who are willing to rise above society’s norms, break those glass ceilings and encourage each other to boldly build the life we were meant to live.

0:24 So, honey, what are you building?

0:27 Welcome to the She Builds Show.

0:29 We have an amazing guest today.

0:31 A little bit of a spin off on, you know what I started, she build, it was important to me that it encompassed everything that a woman does.

0:39 And so we have a special guest today.

0:41 I feel like I’m going to say it wrong.

0:43 Cassie Crowley.

0:44 Is that right?

0:45 That’s right.

0:46 Welcome to the show.

0:47 Thanks for having me.

0:48 Glad to be here.

0:49 Of course.

0:50 Okay.

0:50 So tell us what you currently do.

0:54 So I currently work out and own Nick nut farm, which is an almond and Walnut farm in Northern California.

1:03 Awesome.

1:04 Okay.

1:05 So I just, you know, I’ve read a lot about you and you know, kind of how you came up into this.

1:12 Can you kind of walk me back through where, you know, where your journey started and kind of how you grew up.

1:19 Absolutely.

1:20 Yeah.

1:21 So I grew up in the family farm.

1:23 I’m 1/6 generation family farmer.

1:27 My dad was born and raised out in the Midwest.

1:30 And so his family, did corn and soybeans and row crops that’s particular to that part of the country.

1:39 He didn’t love the winter.

1:40 So he came west to California and in the late eighties bought his first almond ranch by the Sacramento River.

1:51 And so he started farming all almonds and really started from scratch.

1:56 I mean, he made a few good friends who were gracious to him and mentored him and how to farm farm orchards because it’s very different from row crop.

2:06 Row crop is an annual crop.

2:08 So ever every year you take it out, you start over whereas trees are perennial, which means they stay there every year until you take them out.

2:15 It’s a whole different ball game, whole different type of farming.

2:18 So over the year, he eventually added walnuts.

2:23 And so right now we have almonds and walnuts And his acreage.

2:28 Our acreage has kind of flexed.

2:31 At one time, we had around 850 acres that we were owning, managing and leasing.

2:37 And right now we’re at about 250 acres, which is a sweet spot in my, my opinion.

2:44 I grew up around it as a child.

2:47 I never really saw myself going into farming.

2:51 In fact, when I graduated high school, I chose university that was like as far away as I could get, but still be on the west coast.

3:00 So I went to school up in Seattle and I had a lot of respect for farming.

3:07 I had a lot of really wonderful memories with my dad.

3:11 And his work ethic has stuck with me forever.

3:16 But truthfully, I really had no intention of taking on the family farm until about I would say eightish years ago.

3:25 Okay.

3:26 And so what did you go to school for?

3:28 So I, my undergrad, I got my bachelor’s in sociology and Spanish and I joked that it is both great for nothing and everything you can do anything you want with it and also have like a wide-open path, which also can be daunting if you don’t know exactly what you want to do.

3:49 Tell me what happened eight years ago, that changed your mind because obviously you had graduated and that may or may have not been your plan, but how did it turn into the farm?

4:04 Right?

4:04 It was somewhat accidental.

4:07 Eight years ago, I was living in Washington D C and I was working for human rights nonprofit out there and we were doing all kinds of great work overseas and I really loved it.

4:22 I was also pursuing my master’s in social work.

4:25 So I was working full time.

4:26 I was doing my graduate degree nights and weekends I met my husband.

4:32 And so at that time, we were dating, and he was working at a museum and it was really great and we got engaged and we realized that we were envisioning the future that we certainly wanted to have a family.

4:46 But our family was all west.

4:48 Our family at that time was in Utah and here in northern California.

4:52 And as we thought about behind a home in Washington D C raising small Children, we just didn’t really feel like we had the support that we would probably need to do that.

5:04 Well, on top of that, truthfully, we both had just a mountain of student debt from our various educational pursuits.

5:13 So we really wanted to aggressively take care of that.

5:16 So that’s what brought us back to northern California wasn’t necessarily that the farm was primary, the farm was just kind of the vehicle to make all that happen.

5:25 So we moved back eight years ago and Rory, and my husband’s name is Rory.

5:30 We started working for the farm and it was mostly a favor that my dad did for us because we’re like, we’re moving back.

5:37 We’re getting married.

5:38 We’re so broke.

5:40 I’m in the middle of graduate school.

5:41 Like can we just work for the farm and let’s just see what happens as much money as we can.

5:48 Yeah.

5:49 Okay.

5:51 So we started doing that and as we got our hands dirty literally with the farm my husband and I just, I think really fell in love with the lifestyle.

6:03 We fell in love with the dirt.

6:05 I think a lot of times when we consider what we’re passing down to our Children, we think about the tangible and the intangible things and this dirt was tangible to us to say like we want to steward this well, because we literally see a future, not just for our Children, but for other people’s Children that’s going to depend on it.

6:29 And there were aspects of farming that were exclusive just to producing a good crop, which we’re passionate about.

6:38 But I think it was more the vision of a future that was going to produce healthy outcomes for our community and healthy outcomes for our family.

6:50 At what point, were you like?

6:52 I just spent all this money and I’m in debt with this gorgeous degree and masters and you’re like, and now I’m not going to do anything with that.

7:04 And just, you know, kind of have the farm.

7:07 Was that like a conscious thing or did it kind of like evolve?

7:10 Was their guilt around it?

7:12 Did you like or You’re like, no, this is what I was meant to do.

7:16 I’m just curious like, because a lot of people face those hard decisions and I think that that’s in my opinion, sometimes what’s difficult about our society and culture, it’s like go to school and do all this stuff and get all this money and then, like, you know, when you’re 18 years old and you don’t really know yourself and you really don’t know what you want to do and it can be expensive and confusing.

7:37 Right?

7:38 Right.

7:39 Yeah.

7:40 I mean, I think that’s such a good question because so many of us I’d love to see a poll about, like, yeah.

7:46 Are you using your degree?

7:48 Yeah, I have, I have a teaching credential.

7:51 Yeah, because I think there’s so many people out there probably more of us than we think that have similar stories where I got, you know, this degree in accounting and I ended up being an artist or, you know, just anyway.

8:04 For me, that transition was kind of a slow evolution.

8:10 So I have my undergrad and sociology, like I mentioned, I have my master’s in social work.

8:15 And so for a long time, I envisioned myself being a therapist and writing and maybe teaching, you know, one of the things that has been helpful for me is I had in the older woman in my life that I really love and respect.

8:31 And I was kind of talking to her about this about how I still have a lot of passion for those things and a lot of interest in those things.

8:39 But I’m not in a place where that’s a huge part of my life.

8:43 And she just said, you know Cassi, God willing, like your life will be long and you don’t have to do everything right now, but you would probably be wise to do what’s in front of you.

8:56 And this is what’s in front of us right now.

8:59 And I think with the farm, I’m able to take some of that passion and drive that I have for community and connection and teaching.

9:09 And I’ve really brought that into our farm.

9:11 A lot of our work right now is being active on social media and educating people about, you know, what is climate smart farming?

9:21 Why is it important?

9:23 What’s cover cropping things that the general public doesn’t know a whole lot about?

9:29 But it’s good for them to know because a lot of these practices, they can incorporate in their own garden in their own landscaping.

9:35 And it’s great for them to know how their food supply is affected by, you know, pollinators and the things that we’re doing to make sure we treat pollinators and soil and well and conserve water.

9:48 So they’re kind of like taking that like human rights that like passion for people and education and pouring it into like the education.

10:01 I just love it when we can take like the fruit of who, like the essence of who we are and incorporate it into, you know, something that you probably wouldn’t say would be, you would be able to do that.

10:13 And like farming, you know, like that’s a glorious way to do that because I still, you know, I feel similar that, you know, I love building and I love designing.

10:22 I love all of that.

10:22 But like, at my core, I’m a teacher, you know, like, and I love, like, I love passing on knowledge and I love helping and inspiring.

10:30 And so like, that’s why I did the podcast cause I was like, I just, somewhere where I can, like, get to know incredible people like you and we can share information and we can help and so there’s always a way to kind of think outside of the box and be like, how can I incorporate my passion into my current vocation that I’m doing?

10:49 I think that’s just like a beautiful marrying of that.

10:52 Right?

10:53 Right.

10:53 I think it’s important to recognize that the passions that you have won’t always necessarily translate to that specific location.

11:03 So perfect.

11:05 Yeah, perfect example.

11:06 Like you’re saying you have your teaching credential.

11:08 Well, not everybody can be teachers in a traditional teaching setting.

11:14 And I think for me, like I said, I really never envisioned myself farming, but incorporating that education.

11:20 And I think another big passion of mine is connecting farming to larger social and systemic issues.

11:28 Like farming can actually be a solution to a lot of the issues that our world is currently facing.

11:36 Yeah.

11:37 So what does your like after you kind of made that transition, made that commitment?

11:44 Like I’m going to do what’s in front of me.

11:46 What did that look like?

11:48 Because I know, it probably doesn’t, you know, back then, didn’t look like what it does now is my guess, what did that look like back then and then, like, and then can you get to like, what do you spend your time doing, you know, day to day now?

12:00 You know, I’m curious what that journey was like.

12:03 We kind of started transitioning in the last couple of years and a couple of things had to happen.

12:11 The first thing on a really practical level and this is going to sound counterintuitive.

12:17 But my husband Rory was actually working in our farming operation.

12:21 And if you know any farmers, you know that they work around the clock year round and it’s weather dependent and in a year like this, you can imagine how fun that is with all the weather that we have been having.

12:33 Terrifying.

12:35 Yeah.

12:35 And so because of that, his schedule was really unpredictable.

12:41 It was long, and he enjoyed what he was doing.

12:44 But as he was working, we were adding to our family.

12:47 So we have three Children who are now 53 and one.

12:52 And as we added each child, it just got a little crazier.

12:59 And so as we thought about my involvement and taking the company to the next level, he actually stepped back from that role and chose something that’s still related.

13:12 He works for like a habitat programs, pollinator preservation nonprofit now.

13:19 But he has much more of a 9-5 and so on a very practical level, our family had to make some choices that put some more margins back in our life.

13:30 And so that was kind of a time for us prayerful consideration and negotiation about what our collective schedules would look like, especially in terms of our family life right now, which is really intense because we have very small Children.

13:47 So that was the first thing was kind of just making space in a practical way and just kind of studying a vision and expectations as he took a, we made space in our family, I was able to dedicate some more consistent time.

14:01 And so as we thought about that, one of the big things that I really wanted to pursue is the value of storytelling because we’re just one family farm.

14:10 But there’s a lot of really great family farms out there who are doing what we’re doing, but they don’t have the benefit of having a website or an Instagram or, you know, whatever because they’re so busy farming.

14:24 And so that was a really important element to me to start getting our story out there to talk about how we farm and why we farm that way.

14:34 And then we started considering just getting our products directly to the consumer because historically, we have gone through processors.

14:44 So when you buy, let’s say almonds or walnuts at your grocery store in a bulk bag, maybe a 3 lb. bag.

14:52 Those are from these intermediaries who are probably giving you almonds and walnuts from a lot of different locations, people with a lot of different farming practices, people who have different methodologies for how they do what they do.

15:09 And so one thing that was really important to me was that I wanted people to be able to buy from us directly.

15:16 So they could, you know, when they were snacking on almond or a walnut or whatever, they could have full confidence that they are supporting the types of farming that prioritize climate, smart practices that prioritize taking care of people and land and legacy really well.

15:37 And that’s what we’re in the middle of right now is trying to figure out the mechanics of running an online store marketing and all of that.

15:46 So that’s definitely continues to be a moving target for me at the moment.

15:51 Yeah, which is hard.

15:52 It’s like, yeah, you know, you didn’t go to school and I didn’t go to school to run a business and there’s a lot, a lot of legs to that.

16:01 Someone was like, what do you spend the most of your time doing?

16:03 And like Googling?

16:05 Just Googling how watching YouTube videos you seem like a pretty intelligent lady.

16:14 What has been the of all of that and running the business?

16:20 What’s been the hardest part?

16:23 You know, that just maybe doesn’t come naturally to you if you’re, you know, like and like, what do you struggle with?

16:29 Because I mean, I, I know what I’m out there Googling and, you know, for me when I kind of transition from just doing stuff for myself because I used to just do flips and builds and subdivisions and then now, I’m more client focused and like, I never had to learn the practice of how to estimate.

16:45 I just didn’t, that wasn’t something, you know, and I didn’t go to school for it and it has been my biggest struggle.

16:51 Like I just didn’t, like, I wish I could have somebody else do this.

16:55 Is there anything like that that comes up for you?

16:59 That you’re just like, this is painful?

17:01 Oh, yeah.

17:02 Finances for sure.

17:05 I was talking to a consultant the other day and she’s like, so where is your sales forecast?

17:11 I was like, I’ve written them down in my notebook.

17:15 Like, I’m almost afraid to say it on the podcast because it’s bad.

17:19 I promise that we’re legit.

17:24 No, I know.

17:24 It’s like, and then you just have to, I don’t know.

17:27 I, like, dig my heels in and I’m like, I’m going to read every single book.

17:31 Like I contacted every single, like, custom builder out there and like, just pick the brain and get, you know, get a coach because there’s just stuff that, like, I don’t know, but I have the, like, the gumption to figure out, you know, that I’m like, right.

17:46 And I mean, that’s the quirk about running a small business there.

17:50 You thought like, you got to figure it out, you got to pay someone to do it.

17:56 I took a QuickBooks class probably like six years ago now.

18:00 And I have this giant binder from that class about how to do everything.

18:05 And I remember walking away from that class and thinking, man, I cannot wait to hire someone to do all that.

18:13 I can’t wait to pay someone to do all of that.

18:16 So, I think, yeah, finances, business planning.

18:19 If I could go back, truthfully, I would have taken, I don’t know if I would have majored in business or accounting, but I certainly would have taken a few more classes in my undergrad just to get a basic understanding.

18:32 So, I think, yeah, but I think the other thing that I wanted to mention is I think for women in particular and probably women who are listening to this podcast in particular, being in male dominated fields, I think you are always in somewhere.

18:50 I’ll see for myself.

18:51 You’re always dealing in some way or another with this imposter syndrome.

18:55 Where do I really know what I’m talking about?

18:59 Is this really going to work?

19:01 Like, does everybody else know something?

19:03 I don’t know or they all just googling behind closed doors to, yeah, but they sound so confident that you’re just so, I think that’s something that I’m, I continue to have to work through like, okay.

19:19 Yeah, I am competent and if I’m not like I have the resources and the time to figure it out and that’s okay.

19:28 I don’t need to know everything.

19:30 Right?

19:30 And I think, like, part of how I combat that is like, I surround myself with people that know more than I do.

19:36 Like, if I don’t know something like I know who to call and who to trust, to be able to ask those questions and then you’re absolutely right.

19:43 That I struggle with that.

19:45 I think many women do.

19:47 And I, for me, it’s about just being completely okay with saying, I don’t know, but I’ll find out, you know, I don’t, I don’t know.

19:55 And I’m not going to lie to you and pretend and act like somebody, I’m not, you know, and pretend like I know what I’m talking about if I don’t, you know, like, and I, and at least in my industry, there’s so many incredible men that are willing to share with me I have here.

20:10 I have a perfect example.

20:11 I had this client, she kept telling me she wanted concrete stucco and I was like, Stucco is concrete.

20:17 Like, what are you talking about?

20:19 I’m so confused like you’re messing with my brain.

20:22 Like I’ve been doing Stucco for 15 years.

20:25 I’ve never heard of anybody saying that like they want like concrete Stucco.

20:29 And I like, literally emailed my Stucco guy last night and I was like, Don, I’m missing something and he’s like, no, you’re not like, yeah, but I just like question myself to death because I’m like, am I not bidding the right product?

20:43 Like is there a product?

20:44 I don’t know about, what is she talking about?

20:46 Like and he goes, no, it’s, it’s the same.

20:49 She’s just, you know, I know like it’s just me but man, she threw me off my rocker because I was like, what are you talking about?

21:01 Anything?

21:01 Cause there’s no other way to do concrete.

21:02 I mean it has a thin layer of concrete in it.

21:04 But I’m like, I had to go back and like ask the guy that’s been doing it for 40 years.

21:08 Like did I miss him?

21:09 He was like, no, but you know, that kind of stuff happens where I’m like, yeah, I don’t know.

21:16 What’s your relationship like with your dad and working with him?

21:20 Oh man, he’s, he’s still in the business.

21:23 Yeah, he’s still in the business.

21:26 He’s in the back room.

21:28 Yeah, I often tell people this is 100% true that I get to work with my two favorite men in my life.

21:37 My dad and my husband, my dad has been incredibly kind and gracious and allowed me to, first of all, just have a really flexible schedule because of the kiddos.

21:51 We’ve got at home; I’ve had to have a lot of kind of fits and starts with working a few days a week and then working full time and I’m not working at all and bringing kids to work.

22:02 And he has, I think just been incredibly gracious and accommodating in that way.

22:09 He has supported me since the beginning.

22:11 I think at first, you know, he knew that I was probably not going to pursue farming and he would encourage me whatever I wanted to do.

22:21 And so it wasn’t, I never felt any pressure growing up to take on the family business.

22:27 I never felt any disappointment when I was pursuing other things.

22:31 I think now that we are literally, you know, sharing an office space and working together every day.

22:38 Really?

22:39 I think there’s just a sweetness and I’m really enjoying this season because I know that it’s not going to last forever.

22:46 He keeps saying that he really wants to retire and I’m sure he will someday maybe, but I feel like people in farming and maybe just a small business in general, they all say they want to retire and they never really do.

23:00 You know my dad is in his, you can talk about men’s age, right?

23:04 I feel like you can talk about how old men are.

23:06 He’s in his, in his early seventies.

23:09 And so I’m just recognizing like this is just a really sweet time where there’s a lot of just generational knowledge transfer.

23:17 Lucky for me.

23:18 He is good with finances, and he did study business administration.

23:22 So I learned a lot from him in that respect my husband, like I said, has a different employer now.

23:29 But he still is consulting a lot particularly on our climate smart practices and our pollinator friendly practices.

23:38 And he is just so gifted with strategy and critical thinking and networking that has just been a huge advantage to me.

23:46 So I really resonate with your, your comment about surrounding yourself with people who do have a wealth of knowledge, people smarter than you and in particular areas.

23:56 And I just feel so incredibly lucky and blessed because they both have skill sets that I couldn’t do this Without them.

24:05 Yeah, absolutely.

24:06 Well, I love that, and I think this, you know, that I kind of am a few years ahead of you.

24:11 And I got to do that, you know, my dad and I had an accounting practice for almost 15 years together and I did the same thing, you know, like I brought the kid it was to work with me when they were babies and because my dad’s office was out of the house and my mom would help watch the kids and it was just this beautiful, yeah, a beautiful way to raise my kids when they were little and be flexible.

24:33 And honestly, when my dad did retire, my parents ended up moving and it was probably like the biggest heartbreak I’ve had in the last, you know, three years, just not seeing my parents every day.

24:44 So I just encourage you to, you know, just to truly cherish that even in the chaos of, you know, all those kids and all of that, it was like looking back something that I do didn’t know would go away, you know, and them, my kids be around my parents and be so close to them and, you know, they’re just the most beautiful people.

25:05 So I am envious of your mother.

25:09 Yeah.

25:10 My parents keep talking about moving away.

25:12 I was like, I need like, a two year heads up.

25:15 Yeah.

25:16 Yeah.

25:16 Did your parents at least move somewhere fun to visit?

25:20 Yeah, I mean, they live in Reno now but it’s, you know, like mom and dad are supposed to come tomorrow and they’re like, we don’t know if we’ll get there, you know, like whether I’m like, yeah, I’m just getting to them is hard but, you know, they’re so happy and I wouldn’t want to change that situation for them.

25:37 You know, one other question I want because you’re so passionate about it and I just would love for you to take the opportunity to educate people a little bit about like what you’re saying is like smart climate farming and your pollinators.

25:51 Like what makes you guys actually different?

25:53 Yes, I’d love to talk about it.

25:55 Climate smart agriculture is basically comprised of three things, increased productivity.

26:02 So that means like increased yields of whatever your farming enhanced resilience.

26:08 That means whatever your farming, however your farming is going to be more resilient and adaptive to the changing climate.

26:17 I’ll come back to that and give you some examples.

26:20 And then the last thing is just reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.

26:24 You’re also prioritizing food security for local population, which means that you are focusing on feeding the people who are close to you.

26:34 And there’s some reasons for that, basically the idea.

26:38 And so with those three things, you’re focusing on the health of your dirt for your soil health, which is a really hot topic in agriculture.

26:46 Right now, you’re focusing on keeping your pollinators safe.

26:51 So the bees who pol your crops and even native pollinators like native bees or butterflies, things like that.

26:59 And then you’re focusing on water conservation because water is a finite resource.

27:06 We haven’t really treated it that way, but it is.

27:09 So at Nic Nut Farm, you’ll hear us talk about those three things, a lot, these dirt water, talk about it all the time.

27:18 Right now.

27:19 We’ve been talking about these a lot because we’re in the middle of our pollination season for almonds.

27:25 A fun fact, almond pollination is the largest pollination event in the world.

27:34 So more bees come to California to pollinate almonds than any other pollinating activity.

27:41 So she’s also pollinate a whole host of other crops.

27:45 But the first one, they start with almond since it really sets the stage for their health and stamina for the rest of their pollinating seasons.

27:53 So at NicNut Farm, we take a lot of care to make sure that once they’re bees come on site that they’re healthy.

28:01 The plant cover crops, which is an extra crop, you have your cash crops.

28:06 So for us, the cash crop is the almonds.

28:09 It’s a secondary crop that is planted in order to enhance the soil and to feed the pollinators.

28:16 Because in addition to the almond blossom, your pollinators need a supplementary source of nutrition.

28:24 And so we plant pollinator mixes that include things like mustard and brassica and turnips and things like that, that will add a lot of nutrition for their diet and so that helps them stay strong and stay healthy.

28:39 We also implement a strict no spray policy during our pollination season.

28:46 One of the biggest contributors to pollinators getting sick or dying is being inadvertently sprayed either directly or having crops being sprayed and then these landing on that crop and getting sick.

29:03 So we don’t spray at all during our pollination season.

29:06 We also are really meticulous with how we irrigate how we use our water.

29:13 There’s something in the industry bomb which sounds a little dangerous, but it’s just a tool where you put a probe into the soil, and you can use probes to determine which parts of your orchard need more water or less water and then you irrigate accordingly.

29:30 So we used to do a lot of flood irrigating, which was just kind of a lot of water really nearly everywhere.

29:37 We don’t do that anymore.

29:38 Not we specifically sorry, the industry as a whole, but we use micro irrigation, which is just much more focused on what needs to be irrigated, less water over a longer period of time, it has better infiltration are cover crops.

29:53 Also help with that infiltration.

29:55 So we’re doing a really big whole Orchard recycling project right now where we just took out 53 acres of very mature almond trees that were at the end of their productive life.

30:08 Historically, what happens when an Orchard has ended its productive life is it’ll be pulled out of the ground and it will be burned.

30:16 And so you can imagine 53 acres of trees that is a lot of wood to burn.

30:22 That’s a lot of smoke, that’s a lot of greenhouse gasses.

30:26 And so we received a grant from California Department of Food and Agriculture for whole orchard recycling grant.

30:35 And basically what that entails is rather than taking all of that tree material and burning it, it gets ground up and re cultivated back into the soil.

30:47 So the cool part is that it stores carbon stores like 25 years of carbon.

30:54 It obviously gets rid of any greenhouse gasses that we would have admitted and increases water filtration.

31:02 And the early data also suggests that for the next tortured or the next crop that goes in because the soil is so much healthier because of that integration, you’re also going to have increased yield.

31:13 So that’s a project we’re in the middle of right now and preparing our plans and our scope for what we’re going to replant hopefully later this year.

31:22 That’s incredible.

31:23 And I think you guys are, I love that you, like went after a grant, you know, to really try to get, which I’m sure was a feat in itself, grant writing and getting those issues.

31:33 I know, are not easy.

31:35 Yes.

31:36 If I could hire one person in addition to my, it would be a great writer, writer.

31:43 Well, I have a girl if you, if you want me to send you some.

31:46 Yeah, I do know somebody who does that.

31:48 She’s like a consultant for grant writing, but I love that you guys are, you know, kind of in my mind paving the way to see that be done.

31:57 I know I’ve seen it around here be done both ways, you know, where they burn, or they integrate it because my husband’s kind of in some of the heavy equipment stuff and we obviously live in Durham and know a lot of people who farm.

32:09 I love your outlook.

32:10 I love your, you know, just your like, methodical nous about how you’re really trying to make a difference and to do have, you know, have sustainable efforts.

32:21 And I just, I have loved getting to know you and learning about you and meeting you and knowing that like we’re close to each other and if you ever, if you ever need any like contacts like that or people, you know, just another woman supporting another woman in business.

32:37 Obviously, I’m always here for help and your stuff is incredible.

32:42 And I can’t wait to; can we go on your website now and purchase the nuts?

32:47 You sure can.

32:49 Cool.

32:50 We’ll tell people where that is so you can find us at

32:56 It’s

33:01 We’ve got a lot of information about how we farm, information about our family and then we have our online store.

33:07 So we’ve got just raw walnuts right now because that’s what is fresh from our latest harvest.

33:15 That’s the other promise we’re making you the stuff we’re giving you has not been sitting in storage for a year or two or three.

33:21 If you go to a standard grocery store; chances are you’re getting maybe some new product that’s probably going to be mixed in with some old stuff too.

33:28So I promise you; you will taste the difference.

33:32You can find us online.

33:33 You can also find us on Instagram at NicNutt Farm.

33:36 You may get some videos of our Children and our dog with some educational stuff on there.

33:42 No, I definitely have looked at all the new stuff and it is so like informative and fun like you’re a joy to watch and just thank you so much again and I just love that you’re kind of charging the path here and, you know, setting up that, like, you know, women can do this and you’re teaching and taking your other passions into this and creating a family legacy, which is beautiful.

34:05 Yes.

34:06 Thanks so much for having me.

34:07 I have my farmhouse plan on my drive.

34:12 So I’ll let you know when you’re ready with the lottery.

34:15 I know.

34:16 Right?

34:16 I was, where was I, I was looking at a house?

34:20 Oh, there’s like a new house in Chico that just came up is on Alamo and it’s like a really pretty farmhouse.

34:26 And did you see that?

34:28 Yeah, I’m like, oh, I want to build that.

34:32 Yeah.

34:35 Pretty.

34:36 But wow, I know I was like, I want to build that.

34:41 I want to get that.

34:42 That’s it.

34:42 That’s the house that I want.

34:44 I’m like, I’m pretty sure I saw those plans.

34:45 Yeah, I would change the backyard patio.

34:48 That would be it, but everything else was fantastic.

34:51 So when you’re ready, I’ll help you.

34:53 You’ll be my first call.

34:55 All right.

34:56 It was so great to talk to you.

34:58 Have an awesome day.

34:59 Thank you.

35:01 Bye.

35:02 Thanks for joining me today on the She Builds Show.

35:05 My name is Stefanie Olson.

35:06 My hope is that this episode leaves you feeling empowered and ready to boldly take that step into building the life that you envision, one 12X4 at a time.

35:16 And if you can do me a quick favor.

35:17 Please leave me a five-star review on iTunes.

35:20 I guess giddy over reading the reviews each week and I will choose one special person to win some She Builds swag.

35:26 Make sure you add your name to the review, and I’ll reach out if you’re the winner.

35:30 Thanks again for hanging out.

35:31 Be sure to visit me at where you can ask me questions and share with me what you’re building.

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