#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pumpkin Bars with Almond Crust

Are you all recovered from your turkey comas? If you are like our family, you are still recovering from all the food you ate on Thanksgiving. If you also like me, you may have a heap of leftovers and looking to reinvent them to make something new. Well I bought a 30 oz can of pumpkin not knowing that my recipe only called for 15 oz of pumpkin. So, if you still have some pumpkin in your fridge or maybe you didn't get your pumpkin fix and you want more! Here is a simple and easy pumpkin bar recipe and what else but almond crust. Note: I didn't add the dates the first time I made this, and it really does need that extra sweetness of the dates.

Almond Crust
Finished Bars


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving my Baby Crib new life

Let me start off by saying that I love antiques and any furniture with a story. Most of my house is furniture that my almond farmer or I have inherited from family members that have gone before us, or we have bought at estate sales or antique shops, or just thought they looked old. When I was thinking of baby furniture for our little almond farmer, I wanted to keep with the same trend and look for something that had the antique look. Being that my father keeps everything, I wasnt surprised to find out that my parents still had the crib and changing table that I used. I knew I wanted it, so I asked my Dad to pull it down from the old shop shelves and see what condition it was in.

So, my Dad sent me the pictures of what it looked like and it did bring me back to the childhood. Not because I could remember sleeping or getting changed, but because they screamed 80's to me. I was born in the 80's and the old oak color was a sure sign that these pieces needed some updating. After some begging to my parents, I convinced them to let me have them for my little almond farmer baby and to paint them! 

I had a vision of my baby nursery with white furniture, only problem was this oak set had a million spindles. My almond farmer husband took one look and said no way to sanding and painting. I mean just look at those spindles...I couldn't blame him. I was determined to have my old furniture set, so off I was to find a professional and make my dream come true.

The sanding took the professionals about a week, so I knew it would have taken my almond farmer even longer. I was happy to take one task off his list and hire it done. With the baby almond farmer due to arrive any day now, he has plenty on his plate. I could not be any happier with the finished results! I have my antique furniture for the baby nursery and I was able to give my baby crib new life. Now, we are just patiently waiting for the baby to come and enjoy it!

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Anniversary!

One year ago today, I started this blog. Wow, I can't believe it's been a year already since I started this journey! Time sure has flown by and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have learned a lot over the last year about blogging, who follows me, what to write about, and even our very own farm. I continue to learn as well from you guys out there and I do have to admit that I have loved every moment!
Keep enjoying the beauty!

I have learned that my thoughts are most definitely not that only way of doing things. I need to always keep an open mind. It is important to give my perspective but to also think of how my words may come off to someone else. I have learned to always hear the other person out.

I have learned that things I think of as normal farming practices may be totally unknown to others. It has been eye opening for me to share the smallest happenings on our farm and to get comments from others on how I have educated them. It has taught me to not be afraid to share our story.

I have learned to not be afraid to try something new and fail. When I am researching new recipes or things to try for the blog, there have been some epic fails along the way. But hey, I'm learning at this too. I have learned to try something new and if it doesn't work to revamp and try again, or sometimes just to give up! But it has been fun to test myself as well and see what I'm capable of.

Over the past year I have shared with you the challenges, the struggles and the rewarding moments of our farm and life. You have been by our side as we received a zero allocation of water, when we planted new trees on the farm, during the beauty of bloom, when we harvested our crop and when we announced we were expecting our new little almond farmer.


Thanks from the Almond Girl and her almond farmer
Looking forward to the next year, I am of course most excited for the arrival of our little almond farmer next month, but there will be plenty of unknowns to share in.  We will also have new adventures on the farm to share and new struggles with farming in California. Wherever the next year takes me, you guys will be right along side sharing in the adventure with us. So thanks for reading, thanks for following us and thanks for supporting me on this journey. Without you great followers, there would be no Almond Girl!


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Banana Almond Smoothie

I am getting closer and closer to my due date with our little almond farmer! With my nearing due date though comes more and more cravings for anything sweet. Being that I feel like I have gained a hundred pounds though, I am searching for something sweet that isn't terrible for me. If you have read any of my recipe or food posts, you know by now that I like to experiment and can't follow a recipe if my life depended on it. So I tried this smoothie/ milkshake concoction and really liked it. Of course you can substitute almond milk for regular cow milk and almond butter for peanut butter. My almond farmer said he thought he was drinking an almond milkshake. It hit my sweet craving and now that I am telling you all about it, I think I am going to go make it right now.... Hope you like it!





Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Farming couple confronts drought challenges

My almond farmer and I were honored to be featured in a California Farm Bureau Federation series article entitled 'Young Farmers & Ranchers, Making it Work'. We had a great experience being interviewed and photographed for the piece. You never really think what you do is something special, until someone else tells you so and wants to spotlight in. I was asked by some of my blog readers to post the article so they could view it. It was printed in the October 22nd Ag Alert newspaper, to have access and the original article you can become a member of the California Farm Bureau Federation. 

Fourth-generation farmers Tim and Jenny Holtermann, who work at the family almond farm and custom harvesting business in Wasco, have a passion for agriculture they say it is the product of each being raised on a family farm.
It is this passion that fuels the young couple as they contend with challenges brought by the multi-year drought. While they were able to get through this year, they say they hope Mother Nature provides enough precipitation to satisfy the operation's water needs in seasons to come.
"The best thing I can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. I'm hoping that it is a wet year and that we'll start getting some district water next year to help out our aquifer," Tim Holtermann said. "As far as planning for the worst: If it remains dry and we start losing our water wells from either the water table going too deep or just having mechanical issues, we'll have to let our older orchards dry up and remove them to keep the younger, newer orchards in production."
This year's almonds have been harvested on the family ranch. he said smaller-than-average-sized nuts on the trees likely resulted from the farm having to provide shorter water supplies to some orchards, to save almond trees during the drought.
"The biggest thing we had to do is deficit-irrigate all of our orchards to keep them alive. We anticipate that will also affect next year's crop as far as overall production," he said. "At this point, we'd rather have all of the orchards alive and a lighter crop than have to abandon an orchard."
Jenny Holtermann, who grew up on her family almond and walnut farm in Chico doing tasks from checking irrigation valves to training young trees, said she strives to be an advocate for agriculture through social media.
"I've become more involved in advocacy and communicating to folks that farmers really need to tell our stories more, so that the public knows what actually happens on a farm," said Jenny Holtermann, whose blog, titled "You Say All-mend, I Say Am-end," includes posts about how she and fellow farmers are affected by the drought. "I know people who have blogs and I see how influential they are and I said, 'I'm just going to do this.'"
Jenny Holtermann started her blog less than a year ago and she also posts on social media under the handle "@almondgirl," where she describes life on the farm. Her blog includes passages on topics such as the falling groundwater table, harvest and the process of almond hulling and shelling. She also posts recipes and informs readers of the nutritional benefits of almonds.
"Nowadays, everyone communicates through social media. If you want to hear the latest news and if you want to hear about what is going on, it is all on social media," Jenny Holtermann said. "Through social media, we need to educate people that we are in a drought and how important it is to conserve water. People really don't know how dependent they are on California agriculture, so by educating people, I hope it helps."
Aside from her social media work, Jenny is a director for the Kern County Farm Bureau, a member of the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee, and participates in California Women for Agriculture. She is involved in these organizations while also working as a sales specialist for Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds.
Where does she find time to be involved in these various organizations? Jenny said, "I am passionate about agriculture; it is my livelihood."
"I feel like I need to stay informed and involved in the agriculture community to be able to make sure that agriculture has a future," said Jenny Holtermann, who is expecting the couple's first child. "Especially with our little almond farmer due to arrive in a couple months, I want my children to be able to have the option to return home and farm. By telling our story, I hope to educate others and put a face to the food that is being grown."
Jenny and Tim met while working at the university farm while attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where they each earned agricultural business degrees. Shortly after graduating, the couple married and moved to Wasco. It was during this time that Jenny helped reinvigorate the Kern County Farm Bureau YF&R program.
"After marrying Tim, I came to Kern County not really knowing very many people, so I looked up the Young Farmers and Ranchers program and it was inactive, so I helped to revitalize it," Jenny Holtermann said. "It was a good time, since we had a lot of friends from Cal Poly that had come back to the area."
The Holtermanns described the YF&R program as helpful, especially during challenging times, because it provides a group of fellow young farmers who offer support.
"Through YF&R, we have a lot of friends who have the same type of problems. So the best we can do is support each other emotionally, because there is really not a whole lot we can do about the water situation," Tim Holtermann said. "They are able to say, 'We have the same problem; you are not alone.'"


Article written by Christine Souza, an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at csouza@cfbf.com
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item