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Sticks, leaves and dirt...OH MY!

Almonds are harvested off a tree, where we shake them on the ground. Then they are swept into rows and picked up. Sounds like a fairly easy and simply process but there are a lot of moving parts with several steps and processes along the way.


If you start with shaking a tree, the vibrations don't just knock the almonds off the tree but of course any loose sticks or leaves will also fall too. This could cause a problem when it comes to sweeping the nuts. The sticks could get caught in the sweeper brushes and maybe even get caught up in the irrigation hoses.


Once the nuts are in the rows and the harvester is set to run through to pick up the almonds, those sticks could be troublesome again. The harvester will generally have to run at a slower speed through the field as to allow for the sticks to not get caught up in the series of belts that carry the almonds up. When the harvester empties the almonds into the shuttle cart and further on the elevator, sticks can clog up belts and c…

Christmas in Chico

In my household, Christmas is a time for family, friends and faith.  I was able to go to my hometown of Chico, Ca for the holidays and spend time with my family. On Christmas morning we woke to a white Christmas! Well, for the Northern Sacramento Valley we consider a white Christmas frost. There was a pretty white frost layer on the orchard floor on Christmas morning.

My parents homestead walnut field
My sister's walnut orchard on Christmas morning
My family lives in the middle of a walnut orchard now. In the winter, they just look like giant sticks! In Northern California, a lot of the farmers have started planting walnuts and not as many almonds. Walnuts aren't as susceptible to frost damage due to the cold weather that comes with Northern California. Walnuts also generally require less inputs and man power then almonds. If you drive up highway 99 north of Sacramento you will see more and more walnuts being planted for these reasons.What can I say we are all just nutty!

I have to tell you I was very blessed this Christmas season. I was able to spend almost a week with my family, which is quite rare for me. We ate lots of good food, drank some local wine and best of all enjoyed the company of friends and family alike. Christmas is always a time to look back on how you have been blessed throughout the year. In the past year, our family and friends filled our calendars with weddings, babies, engagements, parties and so much more.  All in all, it's been a fruitful year and I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for us.....

Merry Christmas from the Almond Girl!
Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Comments

  1. I've learned a lot about almonds from reading your interesting blog posts. Keep up the good work! I got to know your parents fairly well 25 years ago when I lived in Chico, and your father took me on more than one tour of the orchards, so I can picture what you describe here fairly well. Also all those family members, many of whom I remember too--you've got a tremendous family there! The only thing I can't picture is walnut trees around your house--they were all almond trees back then as I recall. Please give my regards to your wonderful parents. They'll remember me if you mention my name: Mark.

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