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Showing posts from July, 2014

Harvest is Here

Almond harvest is here! Almond trees are shaking all over the valley and it's officially harvest season. About a week ago we started shaking on our farm.





But before you even start shaking, mowing is the true first sign of harvest. We don't just mow to make the orchard a cleaner environment. Grass could cause harvest equipment to get clogged up and unnecessary debris get stuck with the almonds  Weeds also take vital nutrients and water away from the trees and root system.


Once mowing is done, the orchard is ready for shaking! I like to say we shake the L out of them. Makes sense if you remember where I grew up. In Northern California we say A-MEND, just like salmon. None of that ALL-MEND business. But regardless of what you want to call it, almond shaking is how we get the nuts on the ground.



After we started shaking, the next day we were ready to start sweeping. Sweeping is the process of getting the almonds in nice, clean windrows so they can be picked up. Unfortunately, th…

Almond Shaking

It's raining almonds! Literally! We started shaking our almond trees this week, officially starting almond harvest. We wait all year for this time to come and it's here. It will be a busy next couple of months that will set the future for our orchards. Based off orchard production we will decide which orchards may be approaching their end of life, which orchards will finally produce a crop and which orchards we need to use better farming practices on next year.

Almond harvest is early this year due to the drought and a combination of warmer weather we had during winter and spring months and the hot temperatures we have had this summer. We have had three hot spells this summer with 10 plus days of over 100 degree temperatures. When we do cool down, it is usually only to a low of 95 for our day temperatures. Historically, almond harvest starts in our area the beginning of August, so we are roughly 7-10 days early on our farm. Some almond farmers near the Interstate 5 grape…

Rocky Road Ice Cream

We just got back from a relaxing vacation over at the beach. We were welcomed home by 20 degree increase in weather and an increase in humidity that isn't very enjoyable. As we are getting ready to get those 105 degree days again, my heart melts for some ice cream. While on vacation we made Rocky Road Ice cream on the old fashioned ice cream makers. At home we have the ice cream makers you plug in, push on, walk away and come back in an hour and you have ice cream. Growing up I remember making ice cream with the old wooden makers with ice all around it and pouring rock salt on the ice while it churned. Well this is what we did on vacation too, and boy was it delicious!



Until Next Time,
Almond Girl






Baby News!

We are adding another nut to our family tree... our baby almond farmer is due in December!




Until Next Time,  Almond Girl

Mississippi Mud

We are getting ready for our yearly family vacation with my husband's family. As we prepare, everyone always has their favorite treats they want to enjoy while on vacation. My mother in law always makes her kids favorite recipes and my husband always requests Mississippi mud. His grandma used to make it for special occasions and on his birthday. There is just something about this dessert that brings back great memories and instantly soothes you. An almond farmer's quadruple threat dessert- coconut, chocolate, marshmallow and of course almonds!

Mississippi Mud
2 sticks butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
1 jar of marshmallow cream

Soften butter to cream with sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in flour and cocoa. Mix coconut and nuts into batter. Pour into greased and floured long jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Spread one jar of marshmallow cream over hot cake. Cool complete…

Hull split and the countdown to almond harvest

Almond harvest is on the way. As almond farmers say, we are in the beginning of hull split and the count down to harvest has begun! When almonds are maturing and about four weeks away from harvest, the hull begins to pull apart from the shell. The hull is the fuzzy, green outer layer of the almond. The hull is similar to peach flesh, which is their biological cousin.  Did you know that almonds are closer related to a peach than any other nut?

The hull splits to allow the almond to separate from the tree and prepare the seed or almond to fall. Similar to when a peach is overripe it falls from the tree. The seed or almond is protected by the almond shell, the harder woody inner layer.

The opening the hull creates, allows for worms and other insects to harm the almond. With the hull splitting, the shell is now the protection layer from any insects trying to eat the almonds. To help the shell guard the almond, farmers spray a protective insecticide to block the insects from ea…