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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…

Thankful

The holidays are always a time to reflect on what you’re thankful for. During all the hustle and bustle, it is nice to stop and think about all that we have in our lives.

I am thankful for family. Last week was thanksgiving and my family came down from Northern California to spend the holiday with us. I am thankful for the chances we get to spend time together. I am thankful for the memories, laughter and smiles that are created during our visits.

I am thankful for the opportunity my parents gave me of growing up on a farm. Working in the fields during holiday vacations and summer break, I was able to appreciate the land around me. I may have not liked the physical labor all the time, but looking back on it now, it strengthened me as an adult. Having the chance to work alongside my father, sister and cousins was a great experience I wouldn’t trade. I grew up raising sheep and swine for 4-H and FFA. I am thankful my parents gave me the opportunity to learn responsibility and finance at a young age. Having the chance to care for animals and watching the babies be born every year, is one of God’s many blessings.

I am thankful for my new family. I am lucky that my husband was also raised by a farming family. He grew up driving tractors, irrigating and tending to the land. He has the opportunity of farming with his father and grandfather and learning from them every day. I am thankful for them for passing down the passion of farming to my husband, so we can pass it on to our children someday.

I am thankful for the land. We may struggle with a reliable water supply, rising land costs, sharing our property with mineral rights owners and the ever unpredictable Mother Nature, but in the end we have a chance to nourish and love the land. We feed the land and the land feeds us. I am thankful for the crops the land produces, so we can help feed the world.

I think during the holiday season, it is important to look back at what we have been given over the past year and be thankful. Thankful for the opportunities we had, for the ones we didn’t have and the ones we have yet to encounter.

Until next time,
Almond Girl

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