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Thursday, December 31, 2015

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 California. I love that I live in such a diverse state that is able to specialize in so many crops. And of course, I love that almonds is one of those special crops that is able to thrive and be so productive here!

#2 Most Viewed: California Water #1: How we got here
The beginning of the water series was to help you understand California water. We are much different than other states and how our water is used and divided can be quite complex. I took this post as a way to understand the different uses of water; environment, urban and agriculture as well as understand the different means of water we use; state water project, central valley project and groundwater.

#1 Most viewed: California Water Part 3: Almonds and Water
I am glad that this post was my most viewed post of 2015. I think this is the best way to set the record straight on almonds and water. There was a lot of finger pointing and blame put on almonds in 2015 and it was not deserved. Almonds are a food and it takes water to grow food. Almonds are primarily only grown in California, so you will see a lot of trees across the state making them an easy target for water consumption. But once you start to look at the facts, you will start to understand the good that almonds do for California.

As I look back on these posts it makes me excited to see what is in store for 2016. This year, readers have really taken an  interested in education and learning just why things are done. I am hopeful that 2016 will be an even better year!

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Monday, December 21, 2015

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 on this 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 California Almond tins: holding the perfectly proportional serving size of 23 almonds per tin.





Also, a big thank you to California Almonds for the great giveaway goods!

Don't forget to share and comment via Facebook this post to be entered to win!
Winner will be announced on Wednesday, December 23rd!

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

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 the house. We have a great photographer who captured his milestones at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. I displayed the pictures with clothespins hanging on twine.
The birthday Boy of course had to wear a festive shirt for the big day! I wanted something that he could potentially wear after this birthday too. I liked the tractor design and that it had the number 1 as well as the simplicity behind the design and it wasn't too showy.

The cake I was pretty excited about! I saw this done on Pinterest so I had to recreate it too. I gave a picture to our local bakery shop and I think they did a great job! When our little family of three went in to blow out the candles, our little man got a little excited and plowed his hand into one of the cupcakes. So, I decided that would be his cupcake to eat. He took no time at all to devour the whole cupcake. He doesn't like to use hands. He just puts his whole face into the thing. And it was gone in no time!!

Favors were the final detail. I wanted something for adults and kids alike. Since, there was only a handful of babies and kids present, we needed something everyone could enjoy. I had decided on a candy buffet that was of course all green and yellow candies. I printed up a cute little sticker for some sacks and it was all set! My parents brought the "Oh Henry" candy bars that made a great addition to the little man's celebration!
It was so much fun to plan this celebration for my little almond farmer. I just can't get over that he is already one. Before you know it, I will planning birthday bash #2...


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

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 like this 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,
Almond Girl

Friday, December 4, 2015

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 horse and plow to work their land. Just like most other professions, farmers attend training, seminars, workshops and conferences to learn of the newest technologies and what's new on the market.

Just a couple weeks ago, I attended a local nut conference in which our day was filled with speakers discussing pest management, the newest pests to harm our industry, how to farm more with less water, and industry updates. At meetings such as this, farmers also have an opportunity to log hours. Yes, farmers have to attend a certain number of these seminars in a year to be able to spray their crops or handle any kind of pesticide or herbicide. My almond farmer husband is also a Pest Control Adviser, meaning he writes prescriptions for our almond trees when they need a little tender, love and care. But in order to know the best way to treat a sick tree or crop destroying pest, he has to attend meetings on the newest, most efficient and safest means to do so. There are a lot of larger companies, universities, and state agencies doing research for farmers. These agencies or private businesses are looking ahead at our problems and finding solutions. A small farmer of our size, doesn't have the time and resources for a trial and error on what works and what doesn't. So by attending these seminars we are able to learn what could work best for our farm by listening to these speakers and examining the data.

As a farmer it is in our best interest to continue to educate ourselves on the newest pest, the newest machinery, the market trends and the newest irrigation efficiency tool. By educating ourselves, farmers are able to stay in business and operate on less resources. California farmers are being provided less and less water every year. Without a steady snow in the mountains, rain in the valley and reservoirs to capture the water, California agriculture could be a thing of the past. As a farmer, it is our job to attend seminars and conferences to help us maintain a smart and dependable food supply.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl