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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 year of Family and Farming

Family and farming. Two of the most important things in my life. Two of the most time consuming things in my life. It should be of no surprise that this is what makes up my most popular blog posts of 2017.


2017 was filled with highs and lows, challenges, a new baby and new leadership duties. This year we welcomed our baby girl, Hazel, into the world. She is the greatest gift of the year, by far. Watching her grow and develop new traits everyday is one of the most rewarding things. Watching her in complete admiration towards her brother and also how much love her brother has for her, makes my heart warm. They truly are the reason I get out of bed every morning. And not just because they are my alarm clock.




Family is why we farm. And we farm for our family. So it was no surprise to me that my #2 and #3 most viewed posts for the year are centered around harvest on our farm. Harvest is in full swing shared the stages we take to get our fields harvest ready. It was a little more challeng…

Get your seat at the table, before you're on the menu

Be engaged, stay active, keep yourself aware. As farmers, we hear it all the time. We need to stay involved and keep ourselves up to date on everything. New regulations, incoming laws, restrictions, tax changes, there is always something that is changing that will affect our business and the way we farm.

If I have heard it once, I have heard it 100 times. "If you don't have a seat at the table, you will be on the menu". Farmers need to stay engaged in conversations outside our choir because if we don't, we will be on the agenda. Think about it. In your personal life, would you rather be present for a critique of your work or be talked about behind your back. I would rather be present to defend myself or to just say my opinion or fact check the story.


I have met many that prefer to just stand back and observe or stay out of the lime light and many times those people have a lot to lose. It may seem like the safe way out. However, if you think you are staying out of i…

Thankful for my health

It's the last week of November and I hope this month of thankfulness doesn't stop. Hopefully you have followed along on my thankful journey and you have enjoyed it.
I am thankful for all of you readers who have played along with me and hope you also have spread your own thankful love and appreciation in your own ways.




Remember to like this post and let me know what you are thankful for. I will pick one thankful person to share some nutty goodness with!


I am thankful for my health.




It's now officially winter and with the colder weather comes the snotty noses and the dry coughs. There is nothing I hate more about the change of weather, then the increase of the cold and flu season. It is nothing a little cough syrup can't cure though.  But besides the head colds that bless our house a few times a year, we are a pretty healthy household. I am very thankful for this.


For some reason it seems harder for me to eat healthier in the winter. The abundance of fresh fruit and v…

Thankful for my food

Happy Thanksgiving!
Today is the reason I introduced a Thankful Thursday Giveaway series.


I wanted to take the real reason for the holiday season and spread it out to make the whole month of November a thankful month.
Every week, I have been posting something I am thankful for and challenging you to think of something you are thankful for. The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.


I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for.  I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.




I am thankful for my food.



It seems fitting that today, the day to be thankful and the day to share in an abundant…

Thankful for my faith

It's Thursday again! Have you been reflecting on what you are thankful for?


Every week, I am posting something I am thankful for and challenging you to think of something you are thankful for. The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.


I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for.  I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.




Something I am thankful for is my faith.




I feel blessed to live in a country where we have freedom to worship and believe what we want. We can raise our children with the faith we chose and believe in what we chose to believe. In many parts of this word, peopl…

Thankful for farmers

In case you missed it last week, I introduced a Thankful Thursday Giveaway series.


Every week, I will post something I am thankful for and challenge you to think of something you are thankful for. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have.


So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.




I ask you to 'like' Almond Girl Jenny Facebook page AND this post AND then comment with something you are thankful for.  I will pick one person each week and send them some 'nutty' cheer to help them spread their happiness.


This week, I wanted to think of something that I did everyday and should be thankful for. Often times, we do things and don't realize how it impacts others. What do you do everyday and take it for granted to be able to do?




Well, I eat everyday. Three times a day, sometimes more than that. How do I get my food? Before you can answer with "the g…

Thankful for my family

With all the hate, crime and devastation in the world these days I have found myself in need of love and joy. To me, November is the perfect month to reflect on what we are thankful for. I think we all need to stop and take time to appreciate what we have. There is too much negativity to sometimes find the light, as I have written about before. So this month, I challenge you all to stop what you are doing and take some time to be thankful and appreciate the world around you.
To help me spread some love and happiness I thought I would do a fun thankful Thursday giveaway post every week this month of November. Every week, I will post something I am thankful for and challenge you to think of something you are thankful for. The idea is to appreciate what we have and stop thinking of all the negative that surrounds us. Thanksgiving and Christmas are happy holidays were we should be thankful and not be dwelling on negative things.
Every week this month, I will share something I am thankful fo…

Harvest is done!

HARVEST IS DONE! Finished. Complete. Over. Ended. Final. No more!
Can you tell I am excited? In case you don't follow me on social media, we were so excited for harvest to be over we went on a mini family vacation to celebrate.
There is just something about working your hinny off for over two months that makes you want to celebrate when it's finally over.
We started harvest this year at the beginning of August. We started off with a few hiccups but finally got the ball rolling the second full week of August. Others around us started the week or so earlier than we did. Some areas are still feeling the affects of the drought and their almonds come off earlier from the water stress. Some farmers have so many acres, they need to get the ball rolling before they get behind.
Once we were moving, harvest kept rolling through for a few weeks. Once nonpareil was all done shaking, there generally was a break around labor day. Then the pollinators come off after that. With so many dif…

The end in sight

Shaking is done! The shaker went through our last variety, in the last row, in our last field yesterday. What a relief it is to be one step closer to finishing harvest. It seems like forever ago that we started harvest, but in reality it was about two months ago. Two months of long hours, long weekends and tired feet. Our family and dedicated employees have worked hard to make it this far and now we are in the home stretch. I can see the end in sight.


Now that shaking is done we need to sweep and pick up what's left. And once we are all picked up, harvest will be done! We still have some of the Monterey variety to finish sweeping and then to finish picking up.




The finisher will be the Fritz that we just finished shaking. Fritz is always our last variety and the one we are waiting on. Now that we are done shaking we wait a week or so until they are dry enough to start sweeping.  Once they are dry we will sweep and pick them up. I can't wait until we can start picking them up,…

We're number one!

We're number one, we're number one!!


Every year towards the end of summer, the county Agriculture Commissioner offices release the crop reports for the previous year. The crop report is a compiling of the acreage, yield and gross values for the crops grown within the county. In California, the central valley eagerly awaits these numbers. But why? One reason, to see who is number one.


You have to understand something in California. We grow food to feed the world. The food we grow here, is not only consumed in our backyards and in our state, but the food we grow is shipped across the country and world. Our crop reports show us who grows the most. And because, we grow food for the state, nation and world we want to know who in California is the number one. In the Central Valley we are the heavy producers. Between Kern, Fresno and Tulare County the crop value is over $19 billion!


So when the 2016 Kern County Crop Report came out, everyone wanted to know, who would be number one. …

Reminiscing

My life couldn't be more summed up in a better quote right now. It has been a challenging summer to say the least. While it is easy to say life will continue to go on, it is sometimes hard to coup.




My baby daughter arrived two days after the funeral of my grandmother. My grandma had a rough few months leading up to her passing. She suffered a fall in November that triggered an increase in her Dementia. As it tends to happen at the end of our lives, one little thing after another added up and led to her being placed on hospice care the beginning of June.




I was lucky to head up to say my goodbyes with only 3 weeks left of my pregnancy. I wasn't supposed to travel, but I knew if I didn't go then, I might not be able to go later. Well turns out my instincts were right. My grandmother passed away less than a week before my due date. Her funeral was on my due date, so I was unable to travel to be there.




My grandma and my daughter now share a middle name to remember and honor …

Almond Peach Cobbler Muffins

It isn't quite summer without fresh peaches! Growing up my Dad always had a row of fresh fruit trees along the house and when those trees got ripe, it meant summer was officially here. Well my Dad still has those trees and when my mom came to visit the other week guess what she brought with her, a box of those fresh peaches from Dad's orchard. You could say I was a little excited.


But a whole box of peaches for our little family, what was I to do with a whole box? Well of course I eat my fair share, but you can only eat so many fresh peaches. I froze some. My sister made me a fresh peach cobbler and I still had some left. So I decided to make some peach cobbler muffins with an almond twist.




I can add almonds to just about anything I bake. If almonds aren't your favorite to bake with, you can always use normal flour and vanilla extract. I of course, love almonds to bake with so these are a yummy addition to me recipe book.




These muffins are very moist, they keep best in …

Harvest is in full swing

Harvest is in full swing on the farm. Some farmers around us started a good week or two before us, but we finally started shaking last week.


Harvest starting all depends on soil type, water moisture in the nuts, weather and tree variety. These factors could vary throughout our state making the start of almond harvest vary throughout the state. But on our family farm, we are shaking.

Harvest is full of long hours, busy schedules and hot weather! So anytime we can find our favorite almond farmer to have some family time, we get excited. I consider it a huge blessing that between chaos of harvest we can take a few minutes to have some family time. We of course had to take a family selfie to celebrate our little girl's first almond harvest




 . 





Before we could start almond harvest, we had to give the trees one last drink. After the trees are shaken they will lay on the orchard floor for 7-10 days before being swept, picked up and taken to the huller. These trees could go a fe…

Wordless Wednesday: Hull Split

Because I am now a busy mom of two and my life has been crazy, a not so wordless Wednesday.


Here are a few photos of hull split over the past few weeks. Harvest will be here soon, probably end of next week or beginning of the following week. Stay tuned...










Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Our newest little bundle of joy has arrived!

Daddy's little Hazel nut is here! Our newest little bundle of joy has arrived. We couldn't be more excited to welcome our little girl. As our doctor described it, she came in like a bullet train.




It was definitely an exciting and fast labor but not at first. My due date was June 21st and being 4 days early with my son, I was expecting to go into an early labor. Well, that didn't happen. June 21st came and went and I was still pregnant. My doctor actually scheduled me to be induced on June 21st because of low blood pressure and the fact that my son's labor was only 6 hours. They say your labor gets faster and faster the more kids you have.




June 21st was the first day of summer and in Bakersfield there was no doubt it was summer. That week was 110 degrees plus and apparently that causes women to go into labor. Although I was scheduled to be induced, there was an increase in women coming into the hospital in natural labor. There was no room at the hospital for me to com…

3 Ingredient Fudge

As my pregnancy nears the end I've been craving sweets like crazy. I never really had a sweet tooth before I became pregnant. I used to just drink my dessert by having another glass of red wine. With both my pregnancies though, sweets have always been on my mind. I just want more and more of the bad things.


These last few weeks I have really been out of energy. I have not wanted to do much but lay down and pretend to rest. Let's be real, when you are at the end of pregnancy there is no such thing as sleeping. You just kind of lay there and pretend to sleep. So, when I was hit with a few days of energy I ran with it and did some last minute meal prep and baking to stock up on some things before baby arrives. I made a few freezer casseroles and of course did some baking.


If you follow me on social media you know last week I had a burst of energy and chopped up a TON of almonds for some baking experiments. I of course had to make a double batch of my favorite almond granola and…

Start of Summer

As spring comes to an end and summer is fast approaching it seems that almond harvest will be here before we know it. But first, we must get acclimated to these 100 degree days and the fact that sun and heat are here to stay. Oh ya and before summer starts officially, I'd like this baby out of me!


Our family tree is growing and my official due date is the first day of summer. Deep down inside I was hoping summer wouldn't rear it's head until the baby decides to join us. The thought of being pregnant during the 110 degree days is making me dizzy. So, with two weeks left to go, let's hope it stays somewhat cool. For me and the trees.


Not just my due date is fast approaching, but hull split should also pick up around the same time as baby arriving. Hull split is the unofficial countdown to harvest. When the hulls begin to split, we know the almonds have roughly 4-5 weeks until they are ready for harvest.


Currently, the exterior green hull is done growing from a size per…

Put a little gravel in your travel

Do you ever see something and instantly it reminds you of a memory? I get that way with gravel driveways. Sometimes home can feel a million miles away but when I see a gravel driveway it can mean so much to me. And whenever I hear that Rodney Atkins song and hear the verse "Put a little gravel in my travel" it brings back all kinds of feelings.




Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones or something but I've been kind of homesick lately. It's only been a few weeks since I was in Chico last visiting my parents and family, but there's just something about that gravel driveway. It is the first thing I see when I get passed the walnut orchard leading to my parents house. It is the first sign of home. Where I grew up, where I was raised, where I share so many memories of childhood.


My parents have lived in their house since they were married only a few years, so it is the only place I knew as home. Yes, my mom may have remodeled it three times over the course of 40 years…

What is Milk?

Milk. Most of us drink it or use it as an ingredient on a regular basis. Whether it is pouring milk onto your cereal, topping off your coffee with creamer, digging into a big bowl of ice cream or just enjoying a tall glass of milk. Milk is a daily part of most people's diet.
Some people however, can't enjoy milk in the traditional form. Many are lactose intolerant or have a form of milk allergy causing them to search for milk substitutes.
Lucky for them, there are many on the market now a days. Almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk or whatever you can imagine is now available for those who choose. And these aren't just available in milk form; but cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream are all available in some kind of dairy milk substitute. But lately, this term 'milk' has been under attack.





What is milk?Merriam-Webster defines milk as a 1) fluid secreted by the mammary glands of females for the nourishment of their young as well as 2) a food pr…

Green Almonds

There are always those trends that seem to pop up and certain people just shake their heads in disbelief over the following or popularity of the trend. Much like those new 'dirty jeans' that everyone seems in uproar about from Nordstrom. Yep, for those that haven't heard, you can buy a pair of jeans with dirt and grease stains on them for $425 from Nordstrom.


People in the working class community just shake their heads in disbelief that something we try so hard to clean after a hard days work, is now a trend. Well, much like the dirty jeans, when I first heard of green almonds I was caught a little off guard. People are paying a premium for what? To the average consumer, I am sure they would look at the price tag and the appearance and ask just what they were paying for. But for the high end foodie, celebrity or royal it may be something they look forward to all year.


So what exactly is a green almond? Well, it is just what you would think, a green almond. An almond still …

Last Adventure as Three

The last couple week's I have been a little MIA, especially when it comes to regular social media updates on the farm or the family. Well, we decided to go on one last adventure as three. In a mere 9 weeks, our next little baby H is set to arrive. Our summer will be filled with the new baby and the adventures of raising two, all happening 1 MONTH before almond harvest will begin. That's right, about the time hull split is scheduled to occur and spray usually needs to be applied, I will most likely be welcoming a new baby into the family and taking my farmer husband away from the farm.
Luckily, our family farm has plenty of family around that will be helping out so hopefully my farmer husband can take a few days to help me get used to life as a mom of two.
But anyways, before that chaos starts and before I feel so uncomfortably pregnant, we wanted to take one last adventure as three. When thinking of places to go, relax and explore it seems like the beach is always the first …