Skip to main content

Stop and Smell the Roses

There is always time to stop and smell the roses 🌷

My grandparents always had a massive rose garden. As a kid, I have fond memories of picking roses and watching my grandfather tend to his what seemed like millions rose bushes. My grandma loved to work in the rose garden too, it was always time with the whole family.
My father continued on the same tradition. He had a green thumb for roses and he loved those bushes. When my parents first moved into their house they had 100 roses in their yard. They eventually made a smaller garden, but still spent just as much time caring for those roses. Now, he has a good rose garden of probably 20-30 rose bushes. He used to always pick roses for my mom and bring them inside for her to enjoy. It was always a special little gift he made for her. 
Now we continue his legacy by picking roses and taking them to his grave. I know he was looking down on us this morning as my daughter was playing with his roses. I’m sure he was probably worrying about her…

Why the valley fog is good for farmers

Low clouds, poor visibility, dense ground level fog. This has pretty much described our mornings the last couple of weeks. The Central Valley and especially the southern end that we farm and live in, are quite prone to what is called the Tule Fog.


This Tule fog is created when there is plenty of moisture in the ground, the right temperature and stable atmosphere.  The fog generally appears more after a period of rain and cooler temperatures at night. Our night temperatures the last couple weeks have been in the low 40's, which is pretty cold for us. Mixing these with a few days of rain scattered in, we have had the perfect conditions for fog.


The typical residents of the Central Valley don't generally like the fog. It brings poor visibility of a mile or less, fog delays for surrounding schools, and people not knowing how to drive in the conditions. But farmers in our valley appreciate the fog.




Being home to the top almond producing county, almond farmers need the fog. The fog allows us the perfect conditions to prep the trees for the new crop. Fog presents the right amount of moisture for us to winter shake the old almond mummies off the trees. Almond mummies are the old almond crop that didn't shake off the tree during harvest in the fall. Almonds that stay on the tree after harvest become home for worms and insects. Theses worms and other insects staying on the tree allow for disease and insect populations to infest the new crop. So, we winter shake the trees to get these almond mummies and they respective worms off the trees. (P.S. Check out my saved Instagram story for more worm picture)


Our little almond farmer helping knock the almonds off


Fruit and nut trees also need winter chill hours to become dormant, and Tule fog helps contribute to that chill. Tule fog comes with cooler temperatures. Almonds, like other fruit and nut trees, go dormant in the winter to prepare for the new growth and buds in the spring. The chill hours help the trees to go through what we call bud differentiation. This is when the trees are determining whether a bud will be a flower or a leaf. Very soon, in the beginning of February, almonds trees will bloom and produce flowers. The almond trees need to have so many chill hours prior to bloom to ensure those buds are able to produce viable nuts.




So, next time you look out your kitchen window in the morning and see that low, dense fog, remember how good it is for farmers and how it is helping produce your favorite afternoon almond snack.


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Almond by-products

When people think of almond uses they tend to just think of using the almond meat. Almonds have multiple by-products actually. When almonds are processed at the huller the almond meat is separated from the hull and shell. The hulls, shells and hash are also sold and used.

Almond hulls are the green out most layer of the almond while on the tree. The hull is what splits and starts the countdown to harvest. Once the almond has dried in the field, the hull also dries and begins to separate from the almond. At the huller, they remove the hulls and stock pile them until sold. Almond hulls are sold for animal feed, most commonly dairy feed. The hulls actually add nutrition to the animals diet and aid in healthy milk production. Growing up on my family's farm, we used the hulls to feed our breeding sheep. It was cheaper than grain, helped to add nutrition to the animal diet and while filled them up faster.

Almond shells are the hard layer between the hull and the almond meat. …

Modern Agriculture

What is Modern Agriculture?
Modern agriculture could be a scientist in a lab creating the newest impossible non-meat hamburger. Modern agriculture could mean the development of GMO seeds to decrease pesticide use. Modern agriculture could be turning on your irrigation system from an app on your computer. Modern agriculture could just mean the use of GPS in tractors, or maybe just the use of a tractor on a farm. Modern agriculture could mean something different to you depending on how you look at agriculture.






Modern agriculture is essentially developing practices that help farmers increase efficiency and reduce the amount of resources to meet the world's needs. But depending on your interpretation of the term you could already have created your opinion of modern agriculture. 2% of the population is involved in agriculture but 100% of the population has opinions.
That's the situation we face today, consumers tend to develop their own opinions of modern agriculture without unders…

Almond varieties

Did you know there are over 30 different varieties of almonds grown commercially?! All have their own unique purpose, size, and shape. Most almond farmers, have multiple varieties in the same orchard, the most popular being nonpareil. Nonpareil is the prettiest almond, most widely produced and comes with the biggest return back to the grower. But we can't all farm nonpareils, they need to be pollinated somehow. Almonds typically need at least two varieties in an orchard because the almond flower cannot pollinate itself like other fruit trees can. We learned about that with the almond bloom and bee blog!! So we have pollinator varieties that complement other varieties and offer their own unique purpose. I am going to outline a few of the more widely grown varieties for you, but feel free to check out The Almond Board of California's full guide.


Nonpareil has the most uses and purposes of any other nut. It can be used in raw form, blanched, processed or anything you …