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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…

Installing a drip irrigation system

The orchard we took out in out with old, has now gone through the reestablishing phase. The old orchard was on a flood irrigation system, which was very popular when the orchard was planted in the early 80s. Now we have come further with technology to know that drip irrigation is the best irrigation system for our soil type and water conditions.

Building a drip irrigation system takes multiple steps and is a several week process. First we ripped the soil, then we leveled the field to get ready for the new system. We worked with an irrigation company that engineered and designed design the new system. We hired a surveyor to lay out where everything was going to be placed, prior to starting construction of the new irrigation system. Knowing where everything is going to be installed before you get the to the field helps speed up the installation and avoid confusion.


So the ground is level and you have your plan, next the pipe arrives in huge semi truck loads. We take the pipe on small trailers and lay it on the ground close to where it will be buried later.
There is one main pipeline that splits off into sub-main lines which are two lines running perpendicular to the main line. Next we we join the pipe together, the smaller pipe is glued and the larger main line pipe has rubber gaskets allowing it to be pushed together without glue.

Once the pipe is ready to be buried we have a trencher come dig the ditches for the pipe to go in. Then we take the string of pipe and drop it in the hole. It is like a domino effect with the long chain of pipe that is glued together and how they place the pipe in the trench. When the pipe is placed into the trench we need to cover it up so the backhoe comes in to do the job, but you need to make sure the riser doesn't get covered up for the drip hose to connect to.So a long piece of pipe is used to hold up the riser while the dirt covers up the pipe.

Once all the pipe is buried then the risers are used to locate where the tree rows will go and the drip hose can be rolled out.

Next we need to prepare the tree rows and get ready to plant!

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

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