LOCAL FLAVOR: Tierra Farm

Tierra Farm is a certified-organic manufacturer and distributor of nuts and dried fruits, located right here in New York State, 20 miles south of Albany. If you’ve enjoyed many of the nuts and dried fruits in our Bulk department then you already know…their products are GREAT—healthy and delicious. We love Tierra Farm because they are an organic, employee-owned, environmentally conscious company that manufactures its own products. Rising Tide had a chance to chat with our favorite nut folks to find out what makes them tick and what’s new in their world.

1. What is the origin of Tierra Farm?
Tierra Farm started as a diversified organic vegetable farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The organic nuts and dried fruit portion of the business started in 1999 as a way to generate income in the slower winter months. That portion of the business continued to thrive into what it has become today, and we still maintain our original farm.

2. What sets Tierra Farm products apart from other nut purveyors on the market?
We offer our customers exceptional value through unbeatable quality at prices that are fair both to the consumer and to the farmer. Our products are made without added oils or refined sugars in our peanut-free facility. We manufacture the products we sell. We dry roast and flavor nuts and seeds, blend trail mixes, grind butter, cover nuts and fruits in chocolate, and roast fair-trade coffee. Everything is made in small, hand-crafted batches for freshness. All products are gluten-free, peanut-free, and kosher. Our chocolate and coffee are certified fair trade.

3. In what ways does Tierra Farm show concern for the environment and the future of our planet? 
Tierra Farm handles only certified-organic products which are grown without synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, or chemical fertilizers. This sustains biodiversity, conserves fresh water, and enhances the soil. We generate over 70% of our electricity from solar panels and recycle over 60% of our waste. Our boxes are made from recycled cardboard and our deli cup containers are made from over 50% recycled material—both are recyclable after use. We’re continuously looking for better ways to protect the planet.

4. What’s the latest from Tierra Farm? Anything new and exciting in the pipeline?
We recently launched nine new products that buyers and consumers can buy in our retail store, cooperatives, independent grocery stores and online. These organic, gluten-free products include raw blanched almonds, unsalted blanched almonds, salted blanched almonds, honey cinnamon blanched almonds, mango strips, diced mango, pineapple chunks, pineapple rings and lime infused banana.

We also have an exciting new 1.6 oz Organic Grab and Go product in production that we plan to launch soon, so stay tuned!

5. How would you describe the role nuts can play for those pursuing a clean, healthy lifestyle?
Despite the fact that nuts are high in fat, they have health numerous benefits, including being a great source of nutrients. They are also loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber and are good for your heart. Tierra Farm nuts are all organic, gluten-free and kosher, which means that they are made with no added oils or refined sugars.

6. When you’re not noshing on nuts, what are you loving to eat right now? What are your go-to’s?
When we’re not snacking on our variety of nuts we are definitely noshing on some of our delicious dried fruits and chocolates. The organic banana chips are a popular and delicious snack around the office that’s rich in potassium and magnesium. For something sweeter (besides the chocolate covered cashews!) the dark chocolate covered coconut is an office favorite that most employees will tell you tastes like a Mounds chocolate bar.

7. What is your favorite way to use Tierra Farm during Thanksgiving/Christmas? Our products make great snacks to put out on the table when you are hosting a holiday party or event. Our chocolate dollops and chips are also great to bake with when making a delicious dessert to bring or have around the holidays! Also, our 20 oz. upscale cloth bag of Organic Salted Pistachios in shell is one of our most heart-healthy nuts and makes an awesome gift during the holidays.

8. What about a favorite holiday recipe? 
Old-Fashioned Organic Pecan Pie 
1 9-inch organic unbaked pie crust
1 cup organic cane sugar syrup
1 cup organic granulated sugar
3 large organic eggs, lightly whisked
1/4 teaspoon organic salt
2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 cups Tierra Farm organic Raw Pecans
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F with an oven rack placed in the middle of the oven.

Roll out the pie crust and transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and freeze for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Microwave the organic cane sugar syrup in 30 second bursts on HIGH (about 1 – 1.5 minutes total), or set in a saucepan of simmering water, until the syrup is pourable.

Combine the syrup, sugar, eggs, salt, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Stir gently until the mixture is smooth and all the ingredients are evenly combined. Stir in the pecans.

Remove the pie crust from the freezer and pour the filling into the shell. Use a spoon to make sure the pecans are distributed evenly. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 50-55 minutes. The pie is done when it reaches an internal temperature of about 200°F, and when the top crust turns deep golden-brown and feels firm when gently tapped.

Allow to cool completely and keep loosely covered with plastic in the refrigerator. Keeps one week.

9. What’s one FUN thing most people don’t know about Tierra Farm? 
One fun thing most people don’t know about Tierra Farm is that our employee offices are at the same location as our fully functioning farm! While Tierra Farm has expanded and some corporate offices are off-site, the majority of the offices are in the same building as where we roast, pack, and ship our product. Our farm also grows onsite fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs that are used for our employee lunch program. This program provides employees with a free organic lunch that is cooked on-site by our company Chef.

**Our Tierra Farm Organic Cajun Cashews and Organic Salted Mixed Nuts are both ON SALE for the month of November. Check out our Bulk section for these and other holiday (and game day!) snacks…**

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