[Full disclosure: Fat Uncle Farms gave me lots of delicious free almond products. But, even if they hadn't, I'd still think they're awesome.]
I met Nate at Fat Uncle's stand at the Atwater Village farmer's market one sunny Sunday not too long ago, and he told me a bit of the Farm's story. Both he and his wife come from almond farming families, and both were in more traditional day jobs before they decided to take on the family business. For the past five years, they've been growing almonds in a lush orchard in the San Joaquin Valley and turning them into delicious specialty items, which they sell at farmer's markets around town. They also have some impressive commercial customers: Proof Bakery uses their almond flour in its sweets, and SQIRL Cafe uses their almonds for the almond butter they slather on morning toast with jam.
For the short few weeks when they're in season, Fat Uncle even offers fresh young almonds: mouth-puckeringly tart, fuzzy green on the outside, with a bright crunchy texture. They've even been known to feature house-made marzipan.
Fat Uncle Farms are strong believers in community outreach and sustainable farming practices. In fact, Nate and his wife Bekki live on a working farm in Lompoc. They've recently renovated the the ranch-hand's quarters and are offering it as a getaway destination on airnbnb. Guests can help out on the farm and enjoy its bounty at meals, explore nearby wineries and beaches, and take quiet hikes through the surrounding rolling hills to views of the Pacific Ocean. Honestly, the place sounds like an absolute dream.
You guys know that I'm driven by a sense of community. I love sharing stories of food connecting people, and when the blog itself makes that happen, well, it makes me beam. I'm so glad to have met Nate. The story of Fat Uncle Farms, the way they treat their staff like family, their choices in living close to the land, are all so inspiring. And even better, now I know that their chocolate almond butter is always just a Sunday farmers market away.
Fat Uncle Farms can be found at several farmers markets around LA. Check out their website to find the nearest one or order online, or find them on goodeggs.