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Showing posts from May, 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…

Fair time, walnuts and family farming

Growing up memorial weekend was never a time to go to beach, or the lake, or hang out with friends. It was always a busy fair weekend. The week leading up to and the weekend of Memorial Day has always been Silver Dollar Fair in Chico. My sister and myself grew up showing sheep at this fair, and this year it was time for my little niece to show her first lamb at the fair. I guess that means, she isn't little anymore! So I packed up my little almond farmer and we rode the train up north for a weekend of fair time, walnuts and family farming.


My niece did a great job and placed 3rd in showmanship and market. She is a natural showman and has great potential of being an even better showman with more practice and hardwork. We spent a full day at the fair watching her show her lamb and then another even longer day at auction waiting for her to auction off her lamb. As I did my first year, there were a few tears but she still has a breeding ewe at home for her to still care for. With as …

Storm Clean Up

Over the past month, the Central Valley of California has been ridden with storms and high winds. These storms have been filled with intense thunder coming in fast and furious. Within an hour these storms have come out of nowhere and bring high gusts of winds upward of 50 mph at times. Rain flying in and dumping water in a short amount of time has become a norm it seems like, sometimes receiving 1 inch in a few hours. These storms have been causing damage to many agriculture crops but even after we take out the down trees, there is more to clean up.

After removing more than 300 trees from our ranches, you can imagine what has left was an aftermath of more to clean up. Dragging fallen trees out of the orchards with the tractor, can often times pull excessive dirt along with it. Leaving piles and dirt spread out across the field is not ideal for our farming practices. We are having to go back through the field and fill in the holes where the trees once stood with this excesses dirt.
Alo…

Almond Granola

I am a creature of habit and routine. I like schedules. I like to know what is expected, what is planned. I do not like surprises. I do not like something unplanned. I am a planner. I had to find the sex of our child out so I could plan the nursery and clothes around boy or girl. I had to design my wedding ring, so I knew I would like it and no one else would have one like it. I tend to take over group projects and have a problem with delegating tasks to other. Some call is controlling. I just like to know all the details.  I do the same thing with my breakfast. I have a breakfast menu and I tend to stick to what I like. In the winter, it is usually oatmeal with peanut butter. In the summer, it is granola and Greek yogurt. I do switch it up every once in a while with two fried or pouched eggs on toast...okay maybe I do have a problem.

In the spring when it starts getting warmer out I switch my routine to granola and Greek yogurt. One day I looked at my granola and had an epiphany. Why…