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Showing posts from February, 2016

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…

I believe in the future of agriculture...

"I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years..."

These are not only the opening lines of the FFA creed but words that stand true in my life as a farmer today. During this National FFA week, I looked back on what FFA taught me. I am grateful that my father was active in FFA and wanted the same things for my sister and I. I am a proud American FFA degree recipient and past President of Chico FFA. But it is what that jacket stands for that is worth the most. 

That FFA Creed really is something to reflect on. Farming is truly a faith; a faith that mother nature will guide is in our endeavors to make the land prosperous, that we will be good stewards to it and that our deeds will benefit the land. Words are only words, unless o…

National Almond Day

Today is National Almond Day! I love that my favorite nut has its own day. Just like you and me have our birthday, a day to celebrate ourselves, today is a day to celebrate almonds. And what a better day to talk almonds than on their special day. So let's talk almonds!

How do you eat almonds? Most people just snack on whole almonds but there are so many more ways to enjoy almonds. You can enjoy whole almonds in your homemade granola or favorite trail mix. Slivered almonds are great for granola, yogurt or even ice cream. Sliced almonds are great toppers for cupcakes or muffins and add them to almost anything your baking. Almond Milk is delicious on cereal and add it to your smoothie or coffee of your choice. Have you tried almond oil? Next time your whisking together a salad vinaigrette try it out. Or what about almond butter on your toast, or to dip your apple in? Have I made you hungry yet will all these great ways to enjoy almonds?  If you are looking for some yummy ways to enj…

Pollination Partners

It is that time of year again! The bees are out and the buds are starting to burst. Its pollination time and no pollination is successful without a successful partnership. Bees are vital to an almond farmer. Bees move the pollen from one variety of almond to another to pollinate an almond bud and make a nut. Almonds farmers who want to have a successful and productive pollination must create a partnership with their beekeeper and applicator. This three way partnership will ensure that you are covering all your bases as a farmer and steward to bees. 

My local Kern County Farm Bureau wanted to ensure that all parties involved in pollination also had the means to create this partnership. That's why they hosted a bee and almond round table discussion that I was involved in. This was a great opportunity for beekeepers, almond farmers and applicators to sit together and discuss concerns, obstacles and solutions for having a great pollination year. Pollination is a fast time of year an…