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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…

There she blows...

Well, the Central Valley finally received some rain last weekend! While some parts of Northern California had a few inches, and neighborhoods in Los Angeles were being evacuated for fear of mud slides, the Kern County communities received anywhere between .35-.85 inches. It seems crazy, in our town some roads were flooded and lots of orchards lost hundreds of trees, and we didn't even get an inch of rain. What was most important was snow in the mountains and rain near the dams, which we received lots of. We are very thankful for what we received! But just because we received some rain we aren't free and clear, we are still in a drought. It could rain every day for the next month and we will still be in a drought.

The California Precipitation Stations measured Bakersfield to have received 1.55 inches of rain this season. Whereas in a normal year we should have received 4.57 inches thus far. The Central Valley is having 1-2 day periods of rainstorms and heavy wind followed by 30+ days of 70-80 degree weather. Our cities, drainage systems, highways, dams, all of our infrastructure is not built to handle this.  When orchards receive large amounts of rain and the soils become saturated, the root systems become weak. When this rain comes with heavy winds almond trees just fall down. Fifteen plus year old almond trees are extremely top heavy trees with poor root systems. Our farm lost about 200 trees from old orchards like these. Our orchards and fields are just not built to handle this. Pray for continued rain and that it comes over time, not all at once.


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Comments

  1. Love your blog and descriptions of your farm and practices. We farm in IL (corn and beans) and I just find it so interesting how other crops are raised and cared for. You do a great job explaining the ins and outs of almond farming. Love the pictures. Keep up the good work!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Illinois farm girl! Always appreciate another farmers insight. We are all in this together, from Illinois corn to California almonds, we all feed the world!

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