Almonds were introduced to America by Miquel Josep Serra iFerrer, who was born in Majorca, Spain. When he finally arrived in California, he was Fray Junipero Serra, a priest in the Order of St. Francis. He came to California to administer the missions on the Baja California Peninsula. This system of missions had been founded by the Jesuits, who, because of their political intrigues, had just been forcibly kicked out of “New Spain” by King Carlos III.
Father Serra brought along a bag of almond plantings, which he planted and attempted to grow. His attempts failed, because the damp coastal fogs and high humidity of the area were not favorable to almond cultivation.