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Showing posts from March, 2016

My summer essentials for raising kids on the farm

It is officially summer and mother nature is reminding us with the 100 degree weather that is so graciously here. With summer comes lots of outside time for the kids. Raising kids on the farm takes summer to a whole new level. There is just dirt everywhere, dirt in my house, dirt in the diapers, dirt places I didn't know dirt could go. It is just something I learn to deal with and I have also learned to hire a good cleaning lady.
But, with summer comes endless hours of fun and family time. We spend hours outside, in the fields, walking through the orchards, picking up parts, running down equipment and taking meals to the farm during those late work nights.
In the midst of all the craziness, there are certain things I just can't live without. Things that make life so much easier. Things that I have learned to love. I created a list of my summer essentials for raising kids on the farm. These have been some of my favorites during the last four years.

I have two kids, born during…

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