Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

The Chico Walnut Tree

A house is only a house until you make it a home. We closed escrow two months ago, are about a week away from finishing renovations but planting this walnut tree in the ground makes this place feel like home to me.


About a year ago my son asked my father for his very own walnut tree. My son wanted to have a walnut tree just like his Papa B. After my father past away, my husband found a seedling starting to sprout up in the burn pile. My son took it and planted it in this red ...pot outside my parents house. We watched it grow last summer and make huge leaves. Then over winter it went dormant and we all wondered if it would make it.
Last time I was home, the walnut tree was starting to show buds pushing. So my son decided it was time to take it to our new house. We brought the pot to our house and found the perfect spot to plant it in the ground.
Yesterday, we dug a hole to begin planting it and it started to rain lightly. We struggled getting the tree out of the pot but we manag…

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…