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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…

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 of farming and test their science methods. The team that grows the most amount of peas using only 20 pea seeds, wins a visit by Miss America herself.
The thing I love about this contest is not that fact that is a national pea growing contest, but that it is raising awareness of growing delicious and nutritious food. We live in a country with obese and overweight children and adults with bad eating habits. We also live in a country containing food deserts and children that suffer from hunger and are malnourished because they don't have access to healthy food. If more children and adults knew about growing food and how to have access to healthy food, our country would be better off. This contest is a way to help educate children how easy it can be for them to create a school or home garden. With more awareness of programs like these it can help to broaden  our children's eyes of connecting farming and food.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl


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