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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…

Bud Swell, The beginning of the new life cycle

We have been enjoying plenty of foggy mornings on the farm this past month. Mornings when we can't see in front of us very far because the clouds are so low, or it feels like being in a cloud. The brisk cold mornings and the wet foggy air is the perfect combination for helping the old almonds fall off when we winter shake. After these old almonds are off the trees, the trees are ready to start the life cycle again. Farmers generally aim to be done winter shaking by the third week of January. It is at this point the trees are starting to wake up and push buds. When buds are swelling you don't want to risk shaking the trees and harming the new bud development because it is easy to knock large buds off the branches. We definitely don't want to hurt our new almonds.

The buds are starting to swell or enlarge. They are bulging out of the branch and starting to pop up for light. In a couple weeks they will be breaking open. If you remember, last year I blogged all about the pollination series of buds, bees and bloom. During bud swell we don't want to disturb the tree with too much mechanical work. We aim to be done shaking, polling, tying or any last pruning by now. The tree is now into the new stage of bud development and will be working on forming an almond.

In just a matter of weeks we will have buds pushing into flowers and in a month or so we will have gorgeous orchards full of bloom. It seems like only yesterday we were harvesting our almonds and now the almond life cycle is starting all over again.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl




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