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Showing posts from 2015

Country Christmas

I once again decided this year to participate in the Country Christmas exchange. I participated last year and it was fun to connect with new agriculture advocates. Getting to know other bloggers in the agriculture industry is exciting to see what drives others and how they continue doing it year after year. Helpful tips and tricks of trade help me to continue on this path.



When my package arrived I was so excited. My secret Santa came all the way from Nebraska. Naomi blogs over at Circle L Ranch. She really did her homework and found some great stuff for me.

First off, she gave me a packet of chili seasoning and ladle perfect for dishing out homemade chili. Well in the winter I pretty much make chili about once a week, in fact I made it for dinner last night. Needless to say these have already been put to good use.

Next up, She gave me a great gratitude devotion journal. My 2017 was filled with faith testing life challenges so I really needed this. I've already used the first two w…

A look back at 2015

As 2015 comes to a close and we are getting ready to welcome 2016, It is time to look back on the year. 2015 was a year full of water issues, almond media attention, and of course lots of baby pictures as I watched my little almond farmer grow up. As I reflect on the year, I looked back on the most popular post and what it means for 2016.


This past year I did a number of different series that related to agriculture and awareness. The California Water Series I did lighted four different parts of water; conservation, almonds, agriculture production and how we got here. This series was aimed at helping people to understand the water issues and to put some truth out there during a time of information overload. And it turns out it was a hit with two of these posts being in my top 3 for the year!

#3 Most viewed: Why California grows so many almonds
California being so unique and special in our climate and soils I thought it was time to explain just why so many almonds are grown in Californi…

Almond Giveaway #3

Christmas is 4 days way! And you know what that means.... It is time for Almond Giveaway #3!

If you have been following along on my holiday giveaway journey you know we have already given away TWO great almond packages. As a thank you to all my loyal readers and followers I wanted to give a little joy to your holiday season. Sadly, Christmas is fast approaching so this will be my final almond giveaway for this holiday season.

All you need to do to win is to share and comment onthis post on Facebook. It is that easy!

So what exactly is in this last and final almond giveaways you ask? Well I wanted to do a combination of the past giveaways and make one bigger and grander giveaway!

Almond Giveaway #3
'Almond Inspirations' Cookbook: featuring great recipes for weekend brunch, sensational snacks, your casual table, cocktail party, decadent dinners, sweet treats and drinks.
'California Almonds' Grey size large sweatshirt
'California Almonds' baseball cap
4 Califor…

John Deere Birthday

I can't believe it but my little almond farmer turned one! This year has flown by and I have no idea where the time went. It seems like yesterday I was trying to figure out this whole Mommy thing and now I have a one year old! I have to tell you, I do not miss those newborn nights though. I cherish my sleep and I am so glad my little man sleeps 12 hours through the night.

So, when I started planning his first birthday it was no question what the theme was going to be. John Deere is the nursery theme and he loves playing with tractors. Both the real ones on the farm and the toy ones in his room. I just had to do a John Deere Birthday Bash too!

First step was deciding on invitations, and man are there options. I had a hard time deciding but I settled with these cuties. I loved the verbiage and the design of course. The etsy shop was also really easy to work with.

Next, was decor. I wanted to keep it simple but theme oriented. I started by displaying pictures from the year throughout…

Almond Giveaway #2

Let the Almond Giveaways Continue...

To continue my appreciation to my loyal readers, followers and subscribers during this holiday season I will be giving away Almond Giveaway #2. We already gave away one awesome giveaway and there will be one more to come next week.

All you need to do to win is to  like and comment on this post on Facebook. It is that easy!

So is this giveaway the same this time around too? Nope!! Each giveaway is slightly different but all are almond themed of course! What exactly is in this almond giveaway you ask? 
Almond Giveaway #2
'California Almonds' Grey sweatshirt size large
'California Almonds' baseball cap
3 California Almond tins: holding the perfectly proportional serving size of 23 almonds per tin. Great for snacks!

Don't forget to like and COMMENT via Facebook this post to be entered to win! Winner will be announced on Friday, December 18th!



Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Almond Giveaway #1!

As a thank you to all my loyal readers and followers I wanted to give a little joy to your holiday season. As my Christmas gift to you, I will be having 3 Almond Giveaways! Yes, you read that right, I will be giving away 3 holiday almond packages!

All you need to do to win is to share and likethis post on Facebook. It is that easy!

So what exactly is in my almond giveaways you ask? Well, each one is different and over and the course of the next couple weeks I will post each giveaway for your chance to win.

Almond Giveaway #1
'Almond Inspirations' Cookbook: featuring great recipes for weekend brunch, sensational snacks, your casual table, cocktail party, decadent dinners, sweet treats and drinks.
'California Almond' baseball cap
3 California Almond tins: holding the perfectly proportional serving size of 23 almonds per tin.

Don't forget to like and share via Facebook this post to be entered to win!Winner will be announced on Monday, December 14th.

Until Next Time,

Farmers Never Stop Learning

As I pack to get ready for a week of conferences and travel, I started thinking of all the new information I was going to be learning this upcoming week. Along my way, I always tend to meet a random person in the elevator, at the coffee shop or hotel lobby wanting to know what all these farmers are doing at the convention center. People always seem to be interested when I tell them we are here to learn.

With any job or task a person sets out to accomplish, you tend to look for the most efficient way to do it. The same goes for farmers. We are always looking for the best and most efficient use of our time, resources and other inputs to get the greatest output. But how do farmers know the latest and greatest things to help them with their efficiency? We continue to educate ourselves.

It may be hard to believe but most farmers are not the uneducated, hillbilly, backwoods hicks that people tend to think of. Most farmers don't operate a tractor from the 1930's or use a hors…

Saying Goodbye to our Buddy

This was one of the hardest posts to write. I needed a full box of Kleenex by my side, but I made it through it. On November 14, our family lost a great man. Our patriarch, grandfather, great grandfather, farmer, neighbor, businessman, and all around great man passed away at the age of 94. Buddy, as he was referred to in our family, lived a fruitful and abundant life. He was always up to try new things, which was apparent by the 25 plus crops he had farmed over his life. He was a loving soul who cared for his family and friends with the biggest heart. Buddy was a great man, that we will miss.

Buddy was born at the old homestead house on the highway, that his father built when he settled in California in the early 1900's. Buddy was the youngest of six brothers. His poor mother wanted a girl so badly that she would dress him up in girl clothes and grew his hair long. But that didn't last long since Buddy wanted to always be farming and working the land with his father. He learne…

Two years down...

Two years ago this blog was just an idea of mine. I had been thinking for quite sometime I needed a medium to share my story. I always knew I wanted to do something, create some place, find some way to reach a bigger community and touch more people than just in my day to day life. Then two years ago I finally took the plunge and created this blog.


I still remember, my almond farmer husband had just had foot surgery, so I had taken a week off work to take care of him. This gave me a lot of time to think and ponder what I was doing in my life. I had a fairly new job that allowed me to be quite independent and accomplish my duties at my pace. I was able to do more of what I wanted and get things done when it was more convenient for me and not necessarily during a set schedule. I thought this would be the perfect time to carve out my little blog and start with sharing our farm story.

Little did I know, this whole blogging thing could easily evolve into a full time job itself. I am so happ…

Banana Bread with Almonds

It is finally fall! I thought the weather was never going to change. Frankly, I was tired of short sleeves and 80 degree days. I am ready for sweaters and scarves! I joyfully welcomed the rain on Monday and the 60 degree days in my 10 day forecast. God know we need it and I hope the fall weather is here to stay. Let us all pray for snow in the mountains and rain the valley!

I don't know what it is about Fall but it always puts me in the mood for warm baked goods. Pies, cookies, and bread are my favorites for the nice cooler weather. Fresh from the oven is even better! There is just something about the fall weather and baking that put me in a better mood and ready for anything.



I don't know what it was about my bananas the other day, they all got ripe at the same time. Don't you hate it when that happens? But I couldn't just watch them get over ripe and I have enough frozen bananas in the fridge for smoothies. So, it was banana nut bread time! But this time around I cou…

Family, Life's Greatest Blessing

A couple weeks ago my little family was lucky to be able to head up to Chico to help my father with walnut harvest for the second year in a row. Last year, we went up for an extended weekend and this year we went up for a whole week! It was great to be able to spend that much time with my family and share in so many great moments. Living 5 hours away from my family is hard. My parents don't get to see my son but maybe once a month if we are lucky. So being able to spend a whole week with them was amazing. Not just for the memories, but of course we had to put my almond farmer to work during walnut harvest

My dad primarily farms walnuts now. Growing up it was mainly almonds but farming almonds for 40 plus years on the same soil, a lot of farmers switch crops for the third generation. Two generations of almond trees on the same soil can take up all the necessary nutrients and not be able to rebuild for a productive third generation. So my father started planting walnuts and now o…

Almond Processor Tour

So did all my harvest pictures make you hungry for almonds? If you follow me on social media, you know it was busy, busy, busy! Harvest is such a great time of year because there is so much going on in the fields to capture. Almond harvest is complete now and it's time for a long nap!  The nuts have all left the fields and they are on their way to the consumers. There are multiple steps though the almonds must go through to get to the consumer. Last year, I took you all on a tour of an almond huller and sheller. The huller is the first stop the almonds take once they leave the field. After the almonds have been hulled and shelled the next stop is the processor.


I had the opportunity to tour a local processor in our area to see the next step. Supreme Almonds of California is a great processor that is right down the street from our farm and they just so happen to send local almonds all over the country and world. They are just one of many local processors that service our grea…

Farmers are gamblers

Farmers are gamblers. We all gamble every day and hope that we are profitable at the end of the year. We gamble with mother nature, politics, environmental changes, natural disasters, life events and the list could go on. There are a number of factors that go into making our farm successful that we have no control over. Water is the biggest gamble lately. But farmers still wake up every morning and tend to their fields with the same aspirations of making a living with a successful crop.

Almond farmers are no different. Our crop is very unique and depending on where you farm throughout the state, your challenges vary. Some farmers are doing better this year and have less water issues. Some farmers are hurting from water and have more challenges in their areas.

On our farm this year, our crop looks light. On our farm and in our area, the crop looks down roughly 15-20%.  Most varieties seemed to have fewer nuts than average this year. The amount of meat when compared to the hull and she…

Why California grows so many almonds

Over the past several months, there has been quite the finger pointing and blame on agriculture for water use. Farmers have been depicted as an evil villain. Almonds specifically are being targeted and shamed. I find it odd that farmers are being blamed for water use. Not just because I am a farmer, but because I am a consumer. And last time I checked, so was everyone else. We all consume the food that farmers grow. But instead of thanking the farmers for growing our food, we are blaming them for using too much water. Suddenly, everyone is now an expert on farming and think they all know best on what inputs crops need.

In most articles and stories I have read over the past several months, farmers aren't even given a chance to defend ourselves or provide our side of the story. Honestly, I am tired of defending myself and why almond farmers use water. Everything uses water, all food needs water to grow, all people need water to live, all organisms need water to thrive. We all may be…

Almond Meltaway Cookies

These adorable little boys agreed to be guest bloggers for these amazing almond meltaway cookies they baked. I happen to be friends with their aunt who is an avid baker and lover of all things almonds. No, I would say that is an understatement, she is a quite the expert baker. She is known for baking cakes just because or fixing up a plate of macaroons on a random night. She loves to be in the kitchen. So, when I saw that she was teaching her nephews how to bake and to use almonds as the ingredients, I just had to feature these cuties!

The boys loved to make these cookies but they might have enjoyed decorating them even more! These tasty cookies were decorated with brightly colored almond frosting, blanched and whole almonds as well as the ever-popular "we need more!" rainbow sprinkles! Because let's be honest, we all need more sprinkles in our lives!

These cookies have great flavor thanks to the almond extract in the cookie dough as well as frosting, making them extra …

Farmers and Technology, they do go hand in hand

Farmers aren't always looked at as the ones with the newest ipad or the coolest tablet. You generally won't see farmers bragging about how they reached a new high score on their trendy cell phone game. Farmers aren't usually the ones you think of to have the newest technology. But farmers and technology do go hand in hand. Some may think that farmers aren't always up on the newest gadgets or tech trends, but now a days they have to be. Farmers are turning to technology to help them be more sustainable and efficient in their usages.


Farmers all around are turning to web based software to help them understand their farms needs more. Some farmers are using drones to get a more real time picture of their fields. The birds eye view a drone can capture will outline how the soil types vary across a field. Farmers use this to help with better utilization of  nutrients and fertilizers in trouble areas of their fields. Drone are helpful to see what isn't visible to u…

Drought slowing us down...again

We are in full swing of almond harvest on the farm. Shaking, sweeping, picking up and hauling the crop away to the huller. There is a lot going on out on the farm lately. But one thing is slowing all of us almond farmers down. It's this dang drought again, it seems to keep popping up in new ways. Our orchard rows have too much debris, the wood chips and dirt are slowing things down for the pick up machines and even at the huller.

So if you remember, when we have dead branches or prunings from our trees, we chip them up and add them back into the soil. This process helps keep those nutrients in the orchard and usually helps with rebuilding the soil. Well, because we have had very little rain in this drought, these wood chips haven't had enough time to breakdown into the soil. Our irrigation is even less than usual since we don't have any federal or state water on our farm, so we aren't able to irrigate as much as we'd like. All these factors lead to the…

Shake, Rattle and Roll

It's time to shake, rattle and roll on the farm! It's officially almond harvest time and that means we are busy, busy getting everything moving. We have waited all year for these next couple months. Although we don't have as much of a crop on the trees as we would like, we are happy to have a crop to be harvesting. With the drought this year, our trees are water stressed causing them to be early. Our crop is usually harvested beginning or middle of August and for the second year in a row we started July 28th! The trees are ready to go early because they haven't had enough water and it forced their crop to come off early.

On Monday, we started mowing the orchards clean of weeds and debris off the orchard floor.  You need a clean floor for the nuts to have space to dry out. When we picked up the nuts, we don't want to pick up a lot of weeds or debris with them or else we get marked down at the huller.

On Tuesday, we started shaking! Shaking is the most exciting part …

The calm before the storm

I've been quiet in the social media and blogging world over the last couple months. I do have a good excuse though. Our family has taken some much needed vacations! We call it the calm before the storm. Our chance to unwind, relax and take in the views. All before the storm of harvest is about to begin this week! Every one needs a little time to calm yourself and regroup. This is just what our little family has been doing, and man did we enjoy ourselves!
Earlier in June, we were lucky enough to go to Kauai with my parents, sister and her family. It was great that we were blessed to have the chance to go. Living 5 hours from my family, we don't see them too often. So, I was looking very forward to spending a week with them all. I was a little nervous to fly with our then 6 month old baby. But he was a trooper and did a great job! I was so proud of him and the 6 hour flight.
I originally thought a week in Kauai would be so long and we wouldn't have enough to keep us busy. B…

Changing paths, changing job titles

Everyone has a direction in life, a path to follow, an idea of what makes them happy. For the past several years I have been working for corporate agriculture companies, following a path I thought was one that made me happy. That's the interesting thing about paths, sometimes they fork, split, dead end, back up, jump forward, or fall off a cliff. There is only one person in life that truly knows where your path is going and we won't meet him the journey ends.  We just have to go with the path and take what bumps come forward.

Over 7 months ago my path turned, it brought me to this new path that I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do. When my little son was born, my life changed drastically. It wasn't just me and my husband anymore, there was this little man that depended on me, he needed me and what I didn't know was that I need him too. It's strange to think that you can go so long in life just happy and content, but when children are born they…

Worries for the future

Almond harvest is just around the corner. Hull split is here and the countdown to harvest is officially on. Hull split is pretty early this year, about 2 weeks earlier than normal. Last year, we had hull split at the end of June and we thought it was pretty early then and this year is turning out to be even earlier than last year.

Why are the nuts earlier? Well, with the drought getting worse and worse our trees are more and more water stressed. When the trees don't get enough water, they don't produce as well and could even die from too little or no water.

With the low amounts of water we have, irrigation is harder and harder to do effectively.  Our trees are being cut back. In fact, all farmers are cut back to a zero allocation of surface water from federal water projects. The state is implementing regulations to monitor groundwater pumping, an ever more necessary resource to agriculture production. With the threat of limiting our pumping from our own supply und…

Father's Day with four generations

Father's Day is a day to honor our special men in our lives. Whether that be your husband, dad, grandpa, great grandpa, uncle, or special figure. This Father's Day was extra special in our home this year. My son was able to celebrate with his dad, grandpa and great grandpa. Having four generations with the last name is definitely a special treat for all of our family.
Our day was filled with little man giggles and chatterbox talking. Let me tell you that giggle is contagious! Once he starts everyone laughs at how sweet and precious he is, then he gets going louder and then we just can't stop!  But what really gets me, is that big ole smile when he looks at his great grandpa and they lock eyes! It truly is a special gift that we all get to witness.
We are lucky that my husband and I live about 4 houses down from his grandpa so our little man gets to spend time with his 'big buddy' very conveniently. My husband always called his grandpa 'buddy' gr…

Walnut Zucchini Muffins

I have a secret I have to admit. When it comes to baking, my favorite nut is walnut. I have to support the walnut farmers too, my father is a walnut farmer after all. Besides the bags of almonds piled in my freezer, I do have a large stash of walnuts as well. So when it comes to baking, I pull out the walnuts and get my fix!
During summer we usually have an abundance of zucchini from the garden or they are readily available at the grocery store. My favorite thing to do with zucchini is bake muffins! My least favorite thing to do with zucchini is grate them though. Unfortunately, you will have to grate and drain the zucchini for this recipe. Besides that, they are pretty easy and super moist. They get to be so moist by using the Greek yogurt and all the eggs. And that's why I love them! I hope you do too!

Almond Girl Note Added 7/16/16: So today I made these again and used convection bake and they cooked so much faster...25-30 minutes and they are soo delicious still! 

 Until Next…

Almond Pesto

It's officially summer. We hit 100 degrees this weekend and it was brutal! With the onset of summer though, comes garden veggies. I have to admit I love growing my own garden and eating the rewards of what we grow. Sadly, because of the drought we cut back our garden to the essentials. Just tomatoes, peppers, and basil this year. We also have an amazing rosemary plant that keeps coming back every year bigger and bigger. Oh, I love our Rosemary bush!
But today we are talking basil. I love basil and trying to add it to anything to add a little zip! But basil is best for making pesto of course. Pesto traditionally uses pine nuts, but those things are so expensive and when almonds are much more readily available why not use almonds! I use whole almonds as well, they are cheaper than sliced or diced and the food processor can handle the little extra work. This recipe for almond pesto is pretty easy and fast. I love being able to throw everything in the food processor and le…

John Deere Nursery

Being that my son is almost 6 months this post is well over due! When we bought our house almost 5 years ago there was wallpaper in just about every room. Since I'm not an 80 year old women, we took it all out and painted every room. When it came time to paint the 'office' my husband joked to pick a neutral color because this would some day be a baby nursery. We picked yellow  five years ago. But when we found out we were having a boy I told him I wanted a blue room. He wasn't joking, we'd had enough painting and the now nursery was going to stay yellow.
So what theme was I going to pick for my baby boy with a yellow room? Growing up on a farm and marrying a farmer made picking a nursery theme pretty easy to me. I knew it was going to be farm related somehow. Yellow room, farm related, what theme would I choose? John Deere of course!
Looking around on Pinterest and etsy started my JD theme craze. Whoever invented those websites was half genius half devi…