At PGA, we manage orchards with sustainability as a key tenet. We design long-term strategic solutions for the efficient use of natural resources, incorporating responsible and sustainable management practices, so that our actions can promote the health and prosperity of the trees and land as well as the orchard owner's bottom line. Doing good for the land, for the environment, for the local and global communities, can also lead to doing well. With tree nut orchards, sustainability and profitability motives align both in the present and in the future.
Our sustainability princicples are based on our Four Pillars of Sustainability:
We install solar power at our orchards with the goal of being energy self-sufficient while lowering costs, avoiding undesirable emissions and reducing our carbon footprint. An example of our alternative energy installations can be viewed by accessing the following site: solarems.net/kiosks/325
Water is a vital natural resource that must be shared by our environment, our urban communities, our rural communities, and for agricultural purposes. Our goal is to design and implement water management improvements and irrigation systems that promote water use efficiency and long-term soil fertility.
We monitor water use and irrigation efficiency with a combination of standard and wireless tensiometers that can be installed at optimal measuring points throughout an orchard to provide remote interactive access for effective management. We have also installed filtration systems for surface water, deployed micro-sprinklers, and also utilize tail water return ponds where appropriate.
Long-Term Orchard Fertility
Continual improvements are made to promote the long-term productivity of our orchards. Maintaining long-term fertility of the soil at our orchards involves increasing microbial and earthworm activity by adding microbes and incorporating orchard brush and byproducts back into the soil. Encouraging long-term health of the honeybee colonies for enhanced nut pollination involves expanding the nutritional habitat. Creating additional forage planted as cover crop can also simultaneously improve soil fertility and water infiltration. We continue to build new ways to expand permanent honeybee forage, particularly on field boundaries.
Our strategic collaboration with Conservis to develop technology for improved data collection, aggregation and analyses is designed to to deploy on our orchards is designed to improve food quality and safety as well as overall accountability throughout the management process. By building a historical record of all crop inputs including labor and machinery, we can provide transparency into our management decisions to the field level, to help build customer confidence in our sustainability practices.
PGA actively initiatives research with specialists across various topics including soil, irrigation, and energy. We also take part in groundwater recharge projects in California so that we are strategically well positioned to leverage new innovative opportunities as well as the state’s attractive environment. Continually researching and learning allows us to find ways to not only conserve but also most efficiently and cost effectively use our natural resources.