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Showing posts from March, 2016

Picking up almonds

Almond harvest has quite a few steps and processes involved. I showed a glimpse into shaking and sweeping almonds on our farm. Next up, is picking up the almonds.

Almond harvest has been in full swing for the past six plus weeks across California's Central Valley. We just finished shaking over the weekend. Now it is the final push to sweep, condition and pick up all our almonds over the next two weeks. Crossing my fingers we finish by the end of next week. It is a long process to get all varieties off the trees and on their way to the hullers.

There are so many moving parts and equipment involved it is so much easier to just show you. Telling you would take too many words and jargon that no one understands. Since most of you probably wont be able to come out the farm to take a look first hand, check out this video I made to show you all about picking up almonds out of the field and getting them on their way to the huller.  




Until Next  Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

The time I met Miss America

A few month ago now, I attended the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference. Among the attendees were your usual Mid Western corn and soybean farmers, Texan cattle ranchers, cotton growers from the South and Miss America. Yes, you read that right, Miss America came to the Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) conference. Miss America and YF&R don't usually go together. You don't generally think Miss America would have anything to do with farmers. But this year, Miss America, Betty Cantrell is a girl quite familiar with agriculture. She grew up raising livestock through her local 4-H and grew up immersed in Georgia agriculture.

As a country girl she sees the importance of agriculture education and awareness. And that's why she has decided to partner with American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture in the First Peas to the Table  contest. The contest challenges Kindergarten to 5th grade classes to grow peas and learn about school gardens, history o…

What does a March RAIN mean to an almond farmer?

For the past few weeks the state of California has been receiving some much needed rain.  The quantity of rain is quite variable throughout the state. As usual the North State is receiving much more than the southern valley. While some parts of the state are receiving 3-5 inches over a few days, the other end of the valley is still only receiving 1/10 to a 1/4 of an inch at a time. We need the rain and especially the snow in the mountains so we can't be picky and we take what we can get.

This rings true for timing as well. Almond growers are very happy we didn't get any down pours of rain during the February bloom time frame. That could cause serious problems for the almond crops and potentially wipe out an entire crop. We had a few weeks in the beginning of the month that were quite wet and just a little clouds and sprinkles expected for the balance of the month.  But just what does a March RAIN mean for an almond farmer?



Well, the blooms are for the most part gone an…

The Future of Biomass

Tree and orchard removal seem to have been on the rise over the last couple years. With the lack of water, farmers are having to remove orchards that they can't irrigate. Farmers are down sizing their planted acreage and prioritizing what water they do have. Many farmers are removing older, less productive orchards sooner than they would normally. In it's place, sometimes the land is being fallowed and times they plant a new orchard which requires less water. All of this means more and more trees are being torn out and orchards are being removed. But what do farmers do with these trees once they are removed from the ground?

Until recently, a common use was co-generation. Farmers would pay for their trees to be removed and hauled to co-generation plants. These facilities would burn removed trees and make energy to be transferred into the grid. In the 1980's biomass plants and the utility companies created 20-30 year contracts for these facilities to be built and to use agri…

The Beauty of Bloom

The beauty of bloom really can't be discussed in words. So here are a few of my favorite bloom pictures from the 2016 almond bloom. Enjoy!







Until Next Time,
Almond Girl