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Showing posts from August, 2014

Shredding Almond Prunings

It's winter on the farm and that means it's pruning time!


We have had crews going through the orchards pruning the dead wood and any overlapping branches what would be prohibiting sunlight from getting through the orchard canopy. The trees need ample light to ensure nuts develop and grow throughout the whole tree.


Once the pruning is done, crews then stack the branches down the center of the orchard rows and prepare for the shredder! The shredder has a series of multiple blades and is pulled behind a tractor through the orchard. We are left with small wood chips. Really, the videos and seeing this machine in person are pretty cool!


The wood chips will break down over time with rain, irrigation and general orchard practices. All those nutrients that are in tree and branches will remain in the orchard via those wood chips to ensure mothing is lost.


But what are you waiting for, go check out my YouTube video all about it!
AND be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for all …

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…