Situated between the Carpathian mountains and the Black Sea, Moldova is an agricultural haven: its gently rolling hills lushly covered with rich black soil, or chernozem, and lovingly warmed by the sun during its long summers.
These delicately balanced factors of sun and soil allow this small country to produce some of the world’s best walnuts - Moldovan walnuts come bearing the slogan ‘Taste makes the difference’ - so it’s no surprise that it sits on the list of top 10 walnut exporters in the world.
My Naturi’s Moldovan French Fernor walnuts bear the hallmark of their birthplace. Famed for their light, sweetly nutty flavour and thin shells, these walnuts also contain no toxic chemicals as the country’s summer - drier than in Central Europe - limits the amount of fungus on trees, allowing farmers to lay off the fungicides.
Most Moldovan farmers don’t use herbicides to manage the weeds in their orchards: instead, they use a method called tillage, used since the beginning of agriculture as a form of weed control.
While Moldovan walnuts undoubtedly reign supreme, our efforts to find the cream of the crop led us to one of the best walnut farms in the country: Pomul Regal.
Over its 10 years of farming, Pomul Regal has successfully merged modern standards and agrotechnology with traditional French expertise, thanks to a permanent consultancy from French experts with over 40 years of experience in the walnut farming field.
From tree to table: how your walnuts are grown and harvested
It all starts with planting a walnut orchard, but it’s a long road from there to the fresh, delicious walnuts sitting on your table!
Growing walnuts is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of care and patience from the farmers - it takes five to seven years for a walnut tree sapling to become an adult, during which time, the trees must be carefully tended and cultivated.
Harvesting of adult trees usually begins in late September, when harvesters see the walnuts’ outer green hulls drying and starting to split.
There are easily thousands of walnuts produced on a farm, so collecting them by hand is quite a challenge! Farmers use mechanical equipment, or shakers, to make the process easier and more efficient - and even then, it takes about a month to complete.
The gathering process starts with sweeping the entire orchard clean, and then shaking the trees vigorously until the walnuts fall (no trees or walnuts are harmed in this process). Finally, the walnuts are carefully swept to allow mechanical harvesters to pick them up for cleaning.
After harvesters pick up the walnuts, the outer green husk is removed by a huller and the nut is washed and mechanically air-dried to optimum moisture levels. This prevents deterioration of the nut and protects its quality during storage.
The walnuts are now ready to be transported, sold, and eaten! Once you’ve received your delivery of My Naturi walnuts all the way from Pomul Regal in Moldova, store them in a dark, cool area until you’re ready to crack them open and enjoy the freshness of in-shell walnuts, right in your home. Learn more about walnut storage and the benefits of unshelled walnuts in our post here.
Ready to experience the delights of fresh Moldovan walnuts? Shop our range of in-shell Fernor walnuts here!