Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

Picking up almonds

Almond harvest has quite a few steps and processes involved. I showed a glimpse into shaking and sweeping almonds on our farm. Next up, is picking up the almonds.

Almond harvest has been in full swing for the past six plus weeks across California's Central Valley. We just finished shaking over the weekend. Now it is the final push to sweep, condition and pick up all our almonds over the next two weeks. Crossing my fingers we finish by the end of next week. It is a long process to get all varieties off the trees and on their way to the hullers.

There are so many moving parts and equipment involved it is so much easier to just show you. Telling you would take too many words and jargon that no one understands. Since most of you probably wont be able to come out the farm to take a look first hand, check out this video I made to show you all about picking up almonds out of the field and getting them on their way to the huller.  




Until Next  Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Irrigating during harvest

In our orchards we have multiple varieties of almonds. These varieties mature and harvest at different times throughout the harvest season. We start with nonpareils, the most popular, most produced and most widely used variety. But a field of nonpareils most often has one or two other varieties that aren't ready to harvest for a couple weeks to a month later. When we flood irrigated, we weren't able to irrigate any of the orchard until the harvest was complete on the entire orchard.  If we chose to flood irrigate, the orchard rows would be too wet and the machinery would get stuck. The weeds would also start to grow in the middle of the rows, making it difficult for the machinery to pick up the almonds.

Now that we drip irrigate our fields, we are able to harvest and irrigate at the same time. The drip hose is delivering water directly to the base of the tree roots, with only a small portion of the water staying on the surface of the ground. We are able to shake o…

Sweeping and picking up almonds

It's been about 2 weeks since we started almond shaking on the farm. We gave the almonds plenty of time to dry out and get most of the moisture out.
Now, it's time to sweep them. A sweeper machine runs through the tree rows and moves the nuts into a neat row down the middle of the orchard.  First, the sweeper blows nuts from one side of the tree line to the other. Then, the sweeper drives the opposite way through the field moving the nuts into a row. These rows make it possible for the pick up machine to come through and pick up the almond piles without running them over. 


The pick up machine is pulled behind a tractor and has an almond cart behind it. When the tractor drives over the almond rows the pick up machine scoops up the almonds, leaving behind the dirt and other debris, and drops the nuts into the almond cart. When the almond cart is full of almonds, another machine called a shuttle comes behind it in the orchard.  The almond cart empties into the shuttl…