On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

largest pistachio nut in the world (30 ft)

some of the 12,000 trees on the farm


one male tree polinates 14 to 18 female trees

trees just starting to bud

some nuts left from last harvest


I have driven I10 from Arizona to Texas too many times for it to be interesting anymore. This year I decided to take back roads from Las Cruces to Buda. That route allowed me to tour McGinn's Pistachioland in Alamogordo this morning. Pistachios aren't harvested until August - the trees were just starting to leaf - but the tour was interesting nonetheless.

After retirement in 1977, Thomas Michael McGinn moved to New Mexico from California . He bought 40 acres of land when he realized that the soil was perfect for growing pistachio nuts. The first crop came in 8 years after planting. The ranch has more than doubled in size since then. During harvest the nuts are shaken from the tree onto netting below. I was surprised to learn that the shells are cracked open by then. I always thought they opened during the roasting processs.

The McGinn family erected the 30 foot pistachio to honor Thomas after he died in 2007 . It's a great photo op and certainly grabs your attention as you drive down the road!

I drove to San Angelo, Texas but that turned out to be a foolish decision. Construction slowed me down considerably and I forgot that I lost an hour crossing into Central time. Didn't get to the hotel until 8pm . A very long day in the car!

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