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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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 perspective. Like my baby, we are just waiting for the almond to reach full maturity.  The exterior of the shell is still soft where it connects to the hull. The inside of the shell, where it protects the meat is starting to harden.


Peaches and almonds are like fruit cousins. Peaches are closer related to almonds than other stone fruit and almonds are closer related to peaches than other nuts. So, let's think of the almond development as you do a peach.


The almond hull is like the peach flesh. Before the peach is ripe, the flesh is done growing and is just protecting the fruit until it is ripe and ready to enjoy. The almond shell and meat is just like the peach pit. As the peach matures, the pit will grow and harden until its ripe and ready to enjoy. The almond shell and meat just need to harden and finish maturing. These last few weeks the almonds will finish developing their oil, sugars and protein content until the hull splits and the almond is ready to eat.




Once hull split comes, the next stage for the almonds will be drying out before we can harvest them. Drying the almonds releases excess moisture and helps the nuts ensure a long shelf life in your pantry or storage container.
As we countdown the weeks until harvest and watch these almonds develop, let's hope the days don't get too hot and this baby decides to come before the craziness starts on the farm!


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

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