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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…

National Almond Day

Today is National Almond Day! What a perfect time of year it is too. The bees are out and getting happier by the day. The blooms are starting to open so those little bees have something to pollinate and keep their tummies full. (Want to keep your tummy full too? Keep reading to the end)


National Almond Day is a day to enjoy the beauty of the almond, the almond bloom and the almond tree. Besides the fact that almonds are a healthy nut and offer great amounts of protein and vitamins they are also a beautiful nut.


This time of year isn't just for a great family photo or one of best times for local photographers to get some great shots, it is a time to enjoy the lifecycle of the almond. I take this time to showcase how the almond gets a starts. That little bee needs the nourishment and protein from that almond bloom to be able to jump start it's spring. Almonds are the first nutritional crop the bees will be pollinating after a long and cold winter. They look forward to almonds to give them that push of love and vitamins to make it through the year.


Not only do bees need almonds, but almonds need bees. Without bees almonds wouldn't be able to be pollinated. We need bees to cross pollinate the almonds and bring pollen from one almond variety to another. This ensures the almonds will develop into a delicious nut.






The buds and blooms are signs of the tree exiting dormancy and waking up after their long winter nap. The blooms are a sign of new life, new beginnings and a new crop. Bloom set is what many look at as a market predictor to try and guess the crop yield. So many look at bloom as a time to start planning for harvest in a mere 6 months.


There have been plenty of foggy mornings like this during our winter season this year. This keeps the temperature down and the bees asleep. We anticipate the warm afternoons where the bees can get out and bee active! Bees are picky and won't come out unless the temperatures are perfect and sunny. But too many sunny days will speed up bloom and make it happen to fast.


Farming is all about balance and finding the happy mediums. We don't always get the ideal weather, ideal growing conditions or ideal days. But that is what makes farmers the eternal optimist.




So today, let's celebrate almonds! Go eat a handful, feed a bee or just enjoy the beauty of bloom.


So how do I get my hands on these tasty treats to celebrate the National Almond Day?
I will select one lucky Almond Day winner and send you
  • 40 Mariani Nut 1oz snack packs
  • a Large "California Almonds" T-shirt
Enter to win and have a great National Almond Day!




Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Comments

  1. I hope you have a big yielding almond crop for 2017!

    I'm glad to hear that the bees are doing well. The bee guy that brings bees to our ranch in the summer, takes bees to California in the winter months. It sounds like the last few years have been hard on the bees.

    ReplyDelete

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