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Harvest is Here

Almond harvest is here! Almond trees are shaking all over the valley and it's officially harvest season. About a week ago we started shaking on our farm.





But before you even start shaking, mowing is the true first sign of harvest. We don't just mow to make the orchard a cleaner environment. Grass could cause harvest equipment to get clogged up and unnecessary debris get stuck with the almonds  Weeds also take vital nutrients and water away from the trees and root system.


Once mowing is done, the orchard is ready for shaking! I like to say we shake the L out of them. Makes sense if you remember where I grew up. In Northern California we say A-MEND, just like salmon. None of that ALL-MEND business. But regardless of what you want to call it, almond shaking is how we get the nuts on the ground.



After we started shaking, the next day we were ready to start sweeping. Sweeping is the process of getting the almonds in nice, clean windrows so they can be picked up. Unfortunately, th…

California Water Part 4: Conservation

Our fourth and final part in our California Water series is conservation. We all need to do our part to conserve water. It isn't just one sector of industry, one town, one region of California that needs to cut their water usage. It's the whole state because we are in this together! And it will take the whole state cutting back to make a difference. Agriculture can't do this alone, urban can't do this alone. We all need to cut back. But how?

First, lets look at how much water is used in an average house?
  • Brush your teeth? - 2 to 5 gallons
  • Wash the car? - 50 gallons
  • Use the dishwasher? - 8 to 15 gallons
  • Flush the toilet? - 1.5 to 4 gallons (each flush)
  • Take a shower or bath? - 17 to 24 gallons
  • Run the washing machine? - 35 to 50 gallons (each load)
  • Watering the lawn? - 180 gallons

That's a lot of water. Think about how often you do these things, your spouse, your children? If you add this usage up, we use a lot of water in a single day. So, how are we being cut back? Well, every town is different in California. Depending on where you live, the amount you are being asked to cut back is different.

Where I live in Kern County, there are new rules effective May 15th.  In most cases, you will be asked to cut your water use by at least 25% and possibly up to 35%. In my town of Wasco, our water usage is being cut by 35%. If your water provider does not show a reduction in water use by 25% goal, they will be fined. If they are fined, you bet that will trickle down to you being fined! This will result in stricter enforcement. You could be fined for wasting water, such as over-watering a lawn resulting in water running into the street. Do you know what is prohibited?

Now, what are some practices you can do to help:
  • Only run full loads of laundry
  • Wash dishes in the dishwasher in the most water efficient cycle
  • Use remaining water glasses to water your plants    
  • Take 5 minute showers or less
  • Don't run the water faucet while shaving, brushing your teeth or washing your face
Hope these facts and helpful hints make it easier for all of you to conserve!


California Water: Introduction to Series
California Water Part 1: How we got here
California Water Part 2: Agriculture Production
California Water Part 3: Almond and Water




Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

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