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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…

Almond Bloom and Bees!

Last week the bees arrived!  The bees come into the orchard when the blooms are starting to push open. We want the bees to be in place and acclimated by the time the orchard is in full bloom so they can start getting busy and spread pollen.
This orchard is about 75% full bloom, perfect for the bees to get to work!
Bees are an essential tool to pollination of the almond blooms. Almonds are self incompatible meaning they require cross pollination between varieties. For this reason each almond orchard has at least two different varieties of almonds to ensure pollination. Almonds are dependent on bees to take pollen from one variety to another. You will commonly see orchards in which every other row is a different variety or some times there is also three varieties in an orchard. The varieties are picked by the almond farmer based on pollination compatibility and yield.


Farmers generally use two bee hives per acre. The hives are generally set on the ends of the orchard rows so the beekeeper will be able to check on his hives throughout the pollination process. At a cost from $150-$200 an acre, they are a costly but necessary expense. Bees are subject to disease and colony collapse, making the bees more and more scarce. But without the bee, the almond tree wouldn't be pollinated.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Comments

  1. I love seeing the almond trees in bloom. I have a friend that grows almonds in California and I look forward to her pictures every year. Thanks for sharing about the bees and how you have to pay someone to bring them to you. Most people just don't know about all the little things (and big things) we have to do to get food to their tables.

    I would love it if you would come over to my blog Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom and linked this post to my new Country Fair Blog Party. It’s a great place to meet new bloggers. Have a fabulous day! http://talesofakansasfarmmom.blogspot.com/2014/03/country-fair-blog-hop-2.html

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    1. Thanks ! Love sharing my blog and helping others, I posted my blog to your page for you to share!

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