Just outside the city of Casablanca, Morocco is a arid desert with an ideal climate for growing argan trees. The family that makes BASIQ's Argan Seed Oil has lived here for generations. They have masted the art of growing argan trees that produce an oil so rich in nutrients that it is referred to as "liquid gold." Grown on a family farm in Taroudante, Morocco, BASIQ's Argan Seed Oil in hand-nurtured from seedling to extraction.
The tenacious argan tree grows wild through drought and harsh weather. It does not require anything more than arid soil because its long roots travel deep in the soil to find water. Despite the harsh conditions, argan trees can live up to 250 years old.
When the tree reaches maturity between 40-60 years old, it begins to produce fruit. The fruits ripen and fall from the trees in late-summer to signal the beginning of the seasonal harvest. In rural areas, you can see trees adorned with goats nibbling on the fresh fruits.
ExtractionExtracting the oil from the fruit is a long and labor-intensive task which contributes to the value of this liquid gold.
"About 30 kilograms of fruit and 15 hours of manual labor produce only 1 liter of oil but is a process where nothing goes to waste."After the fruits are collected, the yellow-green pulpy flesh of the fruit is removed and each nut is cracked between two stones to release kernels. These kernels are crushed with a mortar and pestle and then ground hand into a thick paste using a quern stone. The thick paste is squeezed to produce the oil. The solid part of the seed, also known as the "cake", is full of protein and fed to cattle.
The hard nut of the argan fruit is separated from the kernel and dried in the sun. The dehydrated shells are crushed between stones until they reach a powdery consistency.
The growing popularity of argan oil directly improves the lives of the people who rely on it, and at the same time, encourages better custodianship of the forest by connecting quality of life to the value of the trees.
Here at Basiq, we believe the quality of our product directly correlates to the intensive care in which we treat our seeds, trees, hand-pressed oil and the family that makes it all possible.