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Sticks, leaves and dirt...OH MY!

Almonds are harvested off a tree, where we shake them on the ground. Then they are swept into rows and picked up. Sounds like a fairly easy and simply process but there are a lot of moving parts with several steps and processes along the way.


If you start with shaking a tree, the vibrations don't just knock the almonds off the tree but of course any loose sticks or leaves will also fall too. This could cause a problem when it comes to sweeping the nuts. The sticks could get caught in the sweeper brushes and maybe even get caught up in the irrigation hoses.


Once the nuts are in the rows and the harvester is set to run through to pick up the almonds, those sticks could be troublesome again. The harvester will generally have to run at a slower speed through the field as to allow for the sticks to not get caught up in the series of belts that carry the almonds up. When the harvester empties the almonds into the shuttle cart and further on the elevator, sticks can clog up belts and c…

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.
empty elevator and shuttle cart
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.
harvester picking up a final row
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 different almond varieties out there, harvest timing can be totally different between growers.
We are finished, but some growers around us are still picking up almonds. Our final variety, Fritz, was slightly green still at the end of harvest. So instead of shaking straight through to finish, we had to take a few days break and wait for them to dry out more. Then, they were ready to shake and finish up. Once those final almonds were on the ground, it was pedal to the medal to finish sweeping and picking up. When the end is in the sight you just want to finish and be done. Not long after, we were.


And as harvest approached the finish line, we were headed out! My almond farmer husband has had two months of crazy hours, long days, exhausting work, and sweaty temperatures. He deserved a break. So off to the beach for a mini family vacation. We are blessed to live within two hours of a nice, relaxing beach to help us calm and refresh. Now on to the next chapter in almond farming.




Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

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