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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!!!
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 grapevine area and southern end of Kern County started a week earlier than us.

Almonds are harvested by using a machine called a shaker. The shaker has two arms with rubber pads that clamp on the tree trunk and shake for a couple seconds. This allows the almonds to shake off the tree. Only the almonds with open hulls will fall. If you shake too early, when the almonds are too green, they will stick to the tree. Once the almonds are on the orchard floor we give them a week or so to dry out. We want the almonds to have no more than 5% moisture and the hull to have no more than 11% moisture. This will allow the hull to come off easier when it goes to the huller plant for processing. Now we wait until the almonds dry out to sweep them.


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl 

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