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Showing posts from November, 2013

Harvest is Here

Almond harvest is here! Almond trees are shaking all over the valley and it's officially harvest season. About a week ago we started shaking on our farm.





But before you even start shaking, mowing is the true first sign of harvest. We don't just mow to make the orchard a cleaner environment. Grass could cause harvest equipment to get clogged up and unnecessary debris get stuck with the almonds  Weeds also take vital nutrients and water away from the trees and root system.


Once mowing is done, the orchard is ready for shaking! I like to say we shake the L out of them. Makes sense if you remember where I grew up. In Northern California we say A-MEND, just like salmon. None of that ALL-MEND business. But regardless of what you want to call it, almond shaking is how we get the nuts on the ground.



After we started shaking, the next day we were ready to start sweeping. Sweeping is the process of getting the almonds in nice, clean windrows so they can be picked up. Unfortunately, th…

Out with the old and in with the new...

Currently on the farm, we are in the process of removing an old orchard and establishing a new orchard. When almond trees are between 25-30 years old, the production starts to decline to a point that the orchard needs to be replaced. When the orchard yield declines, it makes more sense to replace the trees and start the cycle over again. The orchard we are replacing this year is 26 years old, my husband was 2 years old when it was planted! His mother and grandmother tell us stories of when they were planting the field and carry my husband in a baby carrier on their backs. He can't even remember the orchard without trees, and now he is in charge of removing the field and establishing the new one.

Over the past five years or so, the trees have been falling over every time we had the slightest bit of wind. Actually, I wouldn't be lying if I told you it was probably missing a quarter of its trees from all the ones that have fallen over the years. Almond trees have very shallow…

Welcome to my nutty life!

Welcome to my blog! I hope to take you on a journey of what it's like to be a farmers daughter and a farmers wife! I grew up in Northern California where my father farms almonds and walnuts. I went to college and met my husband who's family farms almonds in the Southern Central Valley of California. I thought it was perfect, one almond farmer falling in love with another almond farmer.

They only thing was he said it differently....what was an all-mend? I grew up saying am-end. This will forever be the argument in our house. What is the correct way to say it? If you are north of that Turlock line and you grew up in agriculture, you probably say am-end. If you farm in the southern end of the central valley and just about everywhere else, you look at us northerners weird when we say almond. Do you shake the L out of the them? Or maybe you say Salmon, so you say Am-end. I am not out looking to solve the ancient mystery of who says it right (even though I already know) ;) I am just…