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Showing posts from April, 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…

Wordless Wednesday: April Almonds

Rain is a good thing

Rain is good thing! We need it. We pray for it. We fight over it. We stress over it. We pull our hair out over it. But it also has consequences. Some good, some bad. I know plenty of cherry farmers weren't very happy with last weekend's rain. Cherries are gearing up to be harvested  in our area and getting ready for market, rain can really put a wrench in those plans when it is unexpected and there is nothing that can be done. But in all honesty, we need rain in the Central Valley. We will take it whenever it comes. We waited all winter for the floods of El Nino that were expected. But of course, this winter brought no dramatic increase in rain and in the Central Valley we are still below our average rainfall for the year. Granted we haven't achieved that average in some time, it would be nice to get it again soon. So in the mean time we took the early April showers with a thankful smile and an appreciation of any water at all.

With rain, usually comes a heavy wind. Especi…

What fertilizers do almonds need?

It's spring and the almond trees are covered with shiny leaves and growing nuts. The trees are beautiful and full of new life. As they grow the 2016 harvest crop, they need fertilizer to help them grow. Fertilizer is like plant food or vitamins that give the trees a little extra boost. Just like you feed your garden fertilizer, your rose bushes plant food, or like how you take your daily vitamins, we feed our almond trees fertilizer.
We prefer the fertigation method to fertilize our trees through the water in our irrigation drip hoses. This helps us to be more efficient and effective in our fertilizer use. When we fertilize in the spring we use three different kinds of fertilizers; Nitrogen, Potassium and Zinc. It is like a farmers version of a a perfect vitamin combination.

Nitrogen is important to help encourage leaf growth and nut development. Nitrogen provides the building block to form protein and oils.  One of the key reasons you probably eat almonds is because they are high …