It’s Pistachio Harvest Month at Heart of the Desert!

Wednesday, September 6th, 2023
Heart of the desert, Pistachio harvest

As the seasons begin to change from summer to autumn in Southern New Mexico, an annual tradition comes to life at Heart of the Desert Pistachios and Wine. September is a special month for pistachio lovers and enthusiasts as it marks the beginning of the pistachio harvest season. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of pistachio harvesting, explore the unique charm of Heart of the Desert, and savor the delights of these delicious, green gems.


The Pistachio Harvesting Process:

Before we immerse ourselves in the delightful offerings at Heart of the Desert, let’s take a peek behind the scenes of the pistachio harvesting process. Harvesting pistachios is an art form that combines the perfect timing, state-of-the-art machinery, and meticulous care.


Timing is Everything: The timing of the pistachio harvest is critical. Typically, it falls in September when the nuts have reached the perfect level of ripeness. This is when the pistachios split open slightly, revealing their vibrant green kernels.

Harvesting the Trees: Heart of the Desert employs specialized machinery called shakers. The machine grasps the trunk of the tree and gently shakes it, allowing the nuts to fall into a catching frame, never touching the ground. The nuts are then transferred to bins and transported to the processing plant.

Cleaning and Sorting: After the pistachios are collected, they undergo a thorough cleaning process to remove any debris and leaves.  Then the outer hull (called the epicarp) is removed to reveal the split, hard inner shell underneath. The nuts are then sorted based on quality and size.

Roasting and Flavoring: The best pistachios are then roasted and seasoned with a variety of delectable flavors, ranging from classic Salted & Roasted to spicy Garlic & Green Chile, offering a delightful assortment to please every palate.


Heart of the Desert—A Pistachio Paradise:

Now that we’ve gained insight into the pistachio harvesting process, let’s explore the charming Heart of the Desert farm. Located in the Tularosa Basin of Southern New Mexico, this family-owned farm has been a pioneer in the pistachio industry for nearly 50 years.


Picturesque Orchards: Heart of the Desert is home to 105 acres of meticulously manicured pistachio orchards. The sight of the vibrant green trees against the backdrop of the New Mexico desert is a sight to behold and so unexpected in this arid climate. 

Wine and Pistachio Pairings: Besides being a pistachio haven, Heart of the Desert is also a vineyard and winery. Visitors can indulge in wine tastings that pair perfectly with the farm’s pistachio offerings. Imagine sipping a nice crisp Chardonnay while savoring a handful of roasted Garlic & Onion pistachios—a match made in culinary heaven!  Free tastings of both pistachios and wine are available. 

Gift Shop: The farm’s gift shop is a treasure trove of pistachio-related goodies including popcorn, chocolates, brittle, and cookies.  It’s also a great spot to pick up New Mexico made gourmet food products from seasonings, and salsas to coffee.   If you’re looking for a gift or souvenir there is much to choose from including clothing, jewelry, wall art, and much more.  There is an extensive selection of vinegars, oils, and seasonings for cooks and foodies to taste.  And we can’t forget the delicious vanilla pistachio, white chocolate chunk ice cream!

Farm Tour:  Are you curious to learn more about the art of growing pistachios?  Heart of the Desert offers free daily farm tours to check out the full facility and learn about all of the processes that go into growing, sorting, roasting, packaging, and selling pistachios. It’s done all on the property!

The Patio:  Spending time on the Heart of the Desert patio feels like you’ve stepped into Tuscany.  Surrounded by the pistachio orchard, it’s the perfect place to rest, relax, and unwind with a glass of wine—red or white, your choice.  Private events may be booked on The Patio and if you happen to be in the area on a Wednesday evening in-season, check out the live music and food truck onsite. 


A Culinary Adventure:

The pistachio harvest month at Heart of the Desert is not just about nuts – it’s a culinary adventure waiting to be explored. Here are some delectable ways to enjoy pistachios during this special time:


Pistachio Ice Cream: Cool off from the New Mexico heat with a scoop of vanilla pistachio white chocolate chunk ice cream, a creamy treat that perfectly encapsulates the essence of the harvest season.

Pistachio Flavored Wine: Join a wine-tasting session and experience the delicious flavors of Pistachio Rosé.  Many claim it reminds them of a cream soda. Don’t live close enough to stop in and buy a bottle, order it online.

Pistachio Tastings: Scoot up to the cased-in counter at Heart of the Desert and do a pistachio tasting.  There are nine unique flavors to choose from.  There is something for every palate and this unique experience will help you decide what you want to take home. 

Pistachio Recipes: For culinary enthusiasts, Heart of the Desert offers many pistachio-inspired recipes on its Pinterest page. Learn how to create pistachio-crusted salmon, pistachio pesto pasta, and a whole bunch of other delicacies.


September is indeed a special month at Heart of the Desert, where pistachio harvesting takes center stage. Whether you’re a pistachio connoisseur or simply looking for a unique culinary experience, this charming farm in New Mexico has something special in store for you. So, make your way to Heart of the Desert and savor the flavors of this remarkable harvest month!


Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm-fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcase how pistachios are grown and processed, as well as a stunning Tuscany-themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties, or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.