I’m currently waiting for an early flight in the Fresno airport and hope to be back in Orlando this evening. Cross your fingers! 😀 I miss my little family!
Since last night was uneventful (which is a good thing considering the super-skeezy hotel I stayed in), I figured I’d take this time to blog about the beginning of the day yesterday which was completely amazing.
Yesterday was day three of the POM Harvest Tour and was also probably my favorite of all the days. We had to opportunity to fly out to the orchards and get up close and personal with fresh pomegranates, pistachios and almonds.
After a quick breakfast, our group headed out to take two small planes on a 30 minute flight to the orchards.
Hi Gina! 😀
Little planes = Freaky deaky!
I was a little uneasy about flying in a small plane, but felt much better when I got to be the copilot!
Check out my station:Flying right next to the pilot was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I was able to communicate with him the entire time and asked him five billion questions.
I think anyone who is a nervous flier would really benefit from an experience like this.
The pilot was able to explain why we were experiencing turbulence at certain times. We experienced a little bumpiness because the heat that radiated from the ground was uneven in certain areas (brown sandy areas radiate less heat than areas of black top) and that affects the air differently.
I “oohed” and “ahhed” my way through the entire flight.
The views were breathtaking. In the above picture, the trees that look slightly gray are the pomegranate trees!
Once we were on the ground, our group hopped into two vans and were taken out into the orchards. The drive was gorgeous! I decided that I love orchards! It is so neat to see the food we eat growing fresh on a tree, vine or bush.
We all commented that the pomegranate trees reminded us of Christmas. They looked slightly white with big red pomegranate “ornaments.”
While in the orchards, Bernard, the head orchard guy (I cannot remember his real title 😉 ), busted into the fresh fruit so we could enjoy the sweet arils on the spot.
It doesn’t get much fresher than that!
Pomegranate arils are like little pieces of fruit candy. I could eat them my the bucketful!
Before leaving the orchards we were permitted to snag a few pomegranates to bring home with us. I wish I would’ve brought an extra suitcase and filled it full of the fruit!
I managed to grab three large pomegranates before we headed into the pistachio orchards to get a little nutty!
When we first drove past the pistachio orchards, I would’ve bet money we were driving past grapes!
Yup, those are pistachios! Crazy, huh?
The pistachio shells we’re used to seeing are located underneath the purple exterior. You pop open the purple hull, expose the shell and break it open to enjoy the nut!I’ve never had a raw, unroasted pistachio before and oh-my-gosh they are good!
I wish raw pistachios traveled well, because I would’ve taken a bunch of handfuls home with me!
Fortunately almonds do travel well!
Our next stop took us into the almond orchards where I was surprised to see that the nuts had fur coats!
The “fur coat” is actually the hull of the nut, which protects the shell that protects the almond.
We busted into these babies and enjoyed fresh almonds right off the tree!
Several of the shells we broke into had two little almonds waiting inside. This is a characteristic of the variety of almonds we were sampling, called Monterey almonds.
I ate a million. They were hands-down the best almonds I’ve ever enjoyed.
Once we were done in the almond orchards, it was time to hop onboard the plane again and head back.(How beautiful is Liren?)
After a 30-minute flight back to our cars, a few of us were dropped off at the airport to catch our flights (little did I know the horror that awaited me…).
It was sad to say goodbye to all of the bloggers on the trip, as well as the two amazing POM employees, Andrea and Mike, who worked so hard to organize such a fun, educational and exciting trip for all of us. Thank you!!! You guys are the best!
Now I’m shutting down the computer to get ready to board my flight. I’m hoping for a SAFE flight home.
See ya soon! 😀
The orchards are so cool!!
I had NO idea pistachios are grown that way- they look like grapes.
I hope you have a VERY safe flight home! I’m sure Ryan & Sadie are beyond excited to see you 😀
That looks so fun! Pomegranate seeds are so good for your skin! I havent tried them yet though!
This is awesome! I dream of doing this one day, you’re living my dream 😉 haha! I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your trip, minus the flight scare, of course! I’m sure Sadie and Ryan miss you TONS, and look forward to a great welcoming when you get home 😀
Liz @ Blog is the New Black says
The POM orchards look so fun!!!!
Stefanie @thenewhealthy says
That looks so fun! I had no idea nuts grew like that. I’ve actually always wondered though! Sending safe flight vibes your way 🙂
I had no idea those nuts grew on trees! Why don’t people grow almond trees more often?!
Julie, you are a blogging speed demon! It was so much fun to meet you and experience this amazing POM Harvest together 🙂 Now I need to run over to the other post and hear about the horror…
Amber K says
I didn’t know that about almonds or pistachios how neat!
Savannah P says
What a cool post!! The fresh pomegranates and nuts are so beautiful, I’m totally envious of your experience. Thanks for blogging about it and bringing us along with you, virtually 😉
I agree – little planes *are* freaky. My boyfriend took me flying out on a tiny little one and I just about died inside. He’s a great pilot so I didn’t want to embarrass him by acting nervous but -wow- do you ever feel high up and tiny in a little plane!!!
Thanks so much for giving me a lesson this morning on the almonds, pistachios, and poms! I didnt’t know any of that info. It really is interesting. Now I am going to go look up more info and I am heading to the grocery store today to buy me a pom to try! Btw that pic of you in the orchard with the pom and pistachios is great!
A Canadian Foodie says
You are beautiful, too! Are the shells of the almonds and pistachios not as hard as they are when you buy them? You could never crack them open with your hands from the store. How did you do it there? We have almonds at our local Italian grocer that come in their “fur coats”, so I have seen that – but to pick them and eat them AND pistachios AND poms from the tree would be a very important life experience. And co-piloting? Well, it can’t get any better than that, can it?
I appreciate the areal photo and you telling us the grey area were the pom trees. Did you talk to a farmer?
Thank you for being so kind and thorough. I am sure you can imagine how heartsick I was to not be able to go after being so excited about it. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience and you really brought it to life for me.
Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers says
the nuts were MUCH easier to crack open in the fields! i was shocked, too!
we talked to bernard, who head’s up all of farming for POM. he was really knowledgable & great about answering all of our questions.
really wish you could’ve been there!!!
Looks like POM tour was a blast.
I hope you got home safely to your fiance and puppers.
Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef says
those orchards are awesome!!
What a fun filled weekend for you!! I would LOVE to taste fresh pistachios…yummy!
Christina @ Food.Fun.Fabulous says
What a great trip! (minus the fiasco from last night). I was “copilot” once when I was in Puerto Rico and we flew over to the little island Culebra. It was so scary! I remember seeing little holes in the windows and was freaking out but then realized we weren’t going to be going high enough anyway since we were only up in the air 5 minutes haha
Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover says
Looks like yo’ve really had a BLAST at POM tour 🙂
I’m glad you could find another flight!
Have a great trip back home!
Looks like a fun trip! I love Pomegranate arils in my yogurt. Hope your flight home is safe and uneventful!
Looks like you had a wonderful time!
I love poms & pistachios 🙂
Have a safe flight home!
Gina @ Skinnytaste says
Loved reading this Julie, I felt like I was still there! What a fun trip and a great group of bloggers! So happy we all got to enjoy this together, I’m not sure how one could possibly top this experience we all got to share together! Can’t wait to see posts about the wedding : )
Mary @ Bites and Bliss says
That looks like so much fun! I’d absolutely love to visit a pomegranate orchard! All the poms in grocery stores are always so small and wrinkly, so being able to see BIG, fresh ones would be a treat. 😛
You’re brave for going in such a small plane! I’m a frequent flyer..but have never been in something so small before!
How awesome! Great pictures of you Julie!
I have to say as a nervous flier, I freaked out being in a four seater plane! I think it was the fact I could see everything it scared me even more. I prefer the huge planes over smaller ones, even though I know smaller ones are safer.
I flew in a two person plane with a friend of mine about 9-10 years ago (holy crap I’m old). We hit turbulence near our destination due to an incoming thunderstorm. I nearly lost my lunch (and would have if we didn’t land when we did). But it was a neat experience. I was the navigator, and had to keep my finger on where we were by looking at a flying map and the ground.