Skip to main content

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…

California Water Part 3: Almonds & Water



With all of California on a water allocation everyone is tense and looking for someone to blame so I am trying to help provide some facts in this California Water series. Agriculture was first up to blame because it was spread all over that we used more water than we actually do. Next, Almonds have been demonized all over the news recently as well. During all this hustle and bustle of negative news a great 8 Facts about Almond, Agriculture & the Drought was released by the Almond Board to share the truth. But almonds are a large target. Almonds are the single largest agriculture exporter in California. Almonds are Americas #1 snack nut. In 2014, California produced 1.9 billion pounds of almonds making it the largest global, international and domestic year for shipments ever! With all these great accomplishments comes a big target though.

Some look at these accomplishments as negative. I look at them as positive. Being such a large exporter helps California’s economy by bringing in tax dollars as well as helping with our debt with foreign lands. Being such a consumer recognized nut also means people are looking for almonds more frequently than peanuts, cashews, pistachios or walnuts. Which I guess just causes more spotlights on almonds. Producing such a large amount of almonds in one state, must mean we are using such a large amount of water as well. Not quite! 

Over the last 20 years, almond farmers have improved their water efficiency by 33%. I think that’s pretty good! 70% of almond farmers use micro or drip irrigation. I would also agree this number is great. I know a lot of farmers 10-20 years ago who irrigated using flood irrigation who are now using micro or drip to better use water and penetrate the root zone more effectively. Farmers have done a lot of education and research to figure out how to do more with less. This ain't our first rodeo! This isn’t our first year being cut back on federal and state water. We have had to learn to adapt. The Almond Board of California has been researching water efficiency and uses since 1982. Now looking at all these fine stats, I would have to say almonds have been doing their part.

California as a state has grown and with that more and more of our land is now used for urban communities and less being used for farm land. Farmers have had to learn to produce more with less. Over the last 40 years, California agriculture value has contributed 88% more to our state with 20% less water. We are doing more with less just look at how by this great graph from the Almond Board showing just how dramatic the population rise has been versus our land in productive farms. 

The water almond farmers’ use doesn’t just go towards the nut either. Almonds are comprised of three parts; hull, shell and nut. The kernel is the nut that is consumed in its raw form, is also used for confectionery purposes, used to make almond flour for gluten intolerance, and almond oil for your beauty products. The shell is used for animal bedding, in your garden beds like wood chippings, and is used in co-generation plants to make energy. The hull is used for animal feed and is a good alternative to alfalfa in times of drought. So water for our almond trees actually produce much more than a nut!

Now you have the facts and you can decide for yourself, are almonds really the demon they are portrayed to be?

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Almond by-products

When people think of almond uses they tend to just think of using the almond meat. Almonds have multiple by-products actually. When almonds are processed at the huller the almond meat is separated from the hull and shell. The hulls, shells and hash are also sold and used.

Almond hulls are the green out most layer of the almond while on the tree. The hull is what splits and starts the countdown to harvest. Once the almond has dried in the field, the hull also dries and begins to separate from the almond. At the huller, they remove the hulls and stock pile them until sold. Almond hulls are sold for animal feed, most commonly dairy feed. The hulls actually add nutrition to the animals diet and aid in healthy milk production. Growing up on my family's farm, we used the hulls to feed our breeding sheep. It was cheaper than grain, helped to add nutrition to the animal diet and while filled them up faster.

Almond shells are the hard layer between the hull and the almond meat. …

Thankful for my family

With all the hate, crime and devastation in the world these days I have found myself in need of love and joy. To me, November is the perfect month to reflect on what we are thankful for. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. There is too much negativity to sometimes find the light, as I have written about before. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.
To help me spread some love and happiness I thought I would do a fun thankful Thursday giveaway post every week this month of November. Every week, I will post something I am thankful for and challenge you to think of something you are thankful for. The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. Thanksgiving and Christmas are happy holidays were we should be thankful and not be dwelling on negative things.
Every week this month, I will share something I am thankful fo…

Almond varieties

Did you know there are over 30 different varieties of almonds grown commercially?! All have their own unique purpose, size, and shape. Most almond farmers, have multiple varieties in the same orchard, the most popular being nonpareil. Nonpareil is the prettiest almond, most widely produced and comes with the biggest return back to the grower. But we can't all farm nonpareils, they need to be pollinated somehow. Almonds typically need at least two varieties in an orchard because the almond flower cannot pollinate itself like other fruit trees can. We learned about that with the almond bloom and bee blog!! So we have pollinator varieties that complement other varieties and offer their own unique purpose. I am going to outline a few of the more widely grown varieties for you, but feel free to check out The Almond Board of California's full guide.


Nonpareil has the most uses and purposes of any other nut. It can be used in raw form, blanched, processed or anything you …