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Showing posts from October, 2014

Camp Fire Donation Resources

It has taken me two weeks to be able to write this post. I keep struggling with words, how to express my sadness, how to help, just what to say. But here goes...


The morning of November 8th will be a day everyone in Butte County will remember. The Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. It is the deadliest wildfire in US history in the past 100 years. The town of Paradise was destroyed by the fire, forcing 27,000 people to flee within hours. The news reports and stories victims tell are chilling and leave you speechless. For the last two weeks, my newsfeeds and text messages have been filled with Camp Fire stories and relief efforts.


Butte County is where I was born and raised. My hometown of Chico is where many sought refuge and hope following the tragic event. My mother worked in Paradise for a good chunk of my childhood. I have many memories of the church she worked at, the rectory that is no longer standing, and the local businesses we supp…

Pumpkin Pie Almonds

I enjoy a handful of almonds multiple times throughout my day. I keep a dish in my kitchen full of them, so when I walk through to the back yard or to take something out for dinner, I am always munching on almonds. It got me thinking, how do others eat almonds? I prefer my almonds raw, straight from the tree. But since I can't get those but once a year, I have to eat them other ways. I love the taste of just a raw almond, something about the purity and untouched almond that makes it so good. I know my parents prefer them roasted in the oven with a little garlic salt, which is also good but perishable. I have a great party nut recipe I like to enjoy around game days and party times.

There have been lots of recipes floating around for seasonal spiced things as well, which always gets me into the holiday spirit. So I decided to give one a try, and of course put my own spin on it. Since it is Halloween, I tried a pumpkin pie spice almond recipe and it does taste like I am eating a pum…

After harvest clean up, Leveling the rows

Now that almond harvest is over, it is time to get our fields back in shape. It is what we call orchard maintenance time of year or after harvest clean up. Oh the life of a farmer, they never stop! During harvest, the picking up equipment will leave behind humps in the orchard rows. When the picking up machine picks up the almonds, part of the process is to leave the extra dirt in the field as a dirt mound. This process helps maintain the top soil in the field, and the more dirt we take out of the field and put in the trailers the more expensive trucking and hulling charges can be. The mounds in the middle of the rows will cause the tractors and equipment to travel through the field unevenly. This can be an extra problem for the flood irrigated and older orchards where the mounds could cause uneven water distribution. If the dirt mounds are left in the field until next harvest this could cause us to pick up even more dirt with the almonds next year.
We try to take care of …

Walnut Harvest

Because farmers never rest and my almond farmer doesn't take a break after almond harvest, we went up to Chico to help my dad with walnut harvest. And the most important thing, my little almond farmer growing in my tummy needed some baby gear from my family baby shower!
My dad started walnut harvest a little over a week ago. Walnut harvest is very similar to almond harvest. Walnuts are grown on the tree in a green round hull surrounded by a shell and the walnut meet is the seed, very similar to the almond. When the hull is cracked open and starts to separate from the shell, the walnut is ready to be harvested. Walnuts are shaken off the tree with the same shakers we use in almonds. The walnuts are sweeped and picked up just like almonds. But instead of waiting a week or so to pick up the dried almonds, walnut must be picked up from their wind-rows and arrive at the huller within twenty four hours! Walnut meat and shells will darken in color the longer they sit on the…