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Stop and Smell the Roses

There is always time to stop and smell the roses 🌷

My grandparents always had a massive rose garden. As a kid, I have fond memories of picking roses and watching my grandfather tend to his what seemed like millions rose bushes. My grandma loved to work in the rose garden too, it was always time with the whole family.
My father continued on the same tradition. He had a green thumb for roses and he loved those bushes. When my parents first moved into their house they had 100 roses in their yard. They eventually made a smaller garden, but still spent just as much time caring for those roses. Now, he has a good rose garden of probably 20-30 rose bushes. He used to always pick roses for my mom and bring them inside for her to enjoy. It was always a special little gift he made for her. 
Now we continue his legacy by picking roses and taking them to his grave. I know he was looking down on us this morning as my daughter was playing with his roses. I’m sure he was probably worrying about her…

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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