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Showing posts from October, 2017

Bloom and freezing temperatures

It's the most beautiful time of year to be an almond farmer. The buds are blooming and flowers are open everywhere. But as Mother Nature presents herself, no beauty comes without a challenge.



The first full week of February came and it brought with it almond blossoms. Bees were brought in about a week before that. We want the bees to arrive before bloom starts so they can get acclimated with their surroundings. This way when the buds finally open and flowers pop out, the bees know exactly where to go and what to do.

When the bees arrived it was sunny with high 60 degree weather. It was perfect conditions for them to get to work, but the flowers weren't quite ready to pop yet.


Now as full bloom approaches, we have returned to cold weather where the bees don't want to work much during the days. Bees prefer warmer temperatures, so when it's too cold they stay in the hives most of the time. We have had multiple nights of mid to high 20s. Freezing temperatures at night will…

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,…