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Showing posts from August, 2018

My summer essentials for raising kids on the farm

It is officially summer and mother nature is reminding us with the 100 degree weather that is so graciously here. With summer comes lots of outside time for the kids. Raising kids on the farm takes summer to a whole new level. There is just dirt everywhere, dirt in my house, dirt in the diapers, dirt places I didn't know dirt could go. It is just something I learn to deal with and I have also learned to hire a good cleaning lady.
But, with summer comes endless hours of fun and family time. We spend hours outside, in the fields, walking through the orchards, picking up parts, running down equipment and taking meals to the farm during those late work nights.
In the midst of all the craziness, there are certain things I just can't live without. Things that make life so much easier. Things that I have learned to love. I created a list of my summer essentials for raising kids on the farm. These have been some of my favorites during the last four years.

I have two kids, born during…

The empty chair

There are a million things on my mind and I don't know how to transfer them to words. Sometimes it is easier to write my feelings, then to speak them. As a writer, I am supposed to be good at translating thoughts, emotions, and ideas into words. Lately, all my thoughts are emotions. I am filled with emotions, sadness, and heartache. I am left with wordless paper, keypads with no letters and nothing on my mind but the empty chair.

My birthday is this week. Usually, I make it a birthday week or weeks, sometimes even a whole month. Birthdays to me, are a time of celebration, party, and rejoice. I loved celebrating birthdays growing up. It was always so fun. I got to pick a place to go out to dinner, what kind of dessert I wanted, and it was all about me. When there was a break in harvest, we would go up to the family cabin for a long weekend and relax, go on bike rides, fish and just hang out as family. My birthday usually falls on Labor Day weekend, so it was always a longer weeken…

Ag Afternoons

It's Back to School time! It seems like very time I check my social media, my news feeds are filled with Back to School photos of the cutest little kids. Some kids crying, some kids super excited, some parents crying, some parents super excited. It is a fun time of year.


With kids going back to school, something that may be on a number of parents minds is "what will they learn this year"? The normal stuff like learning, reading, writing, history, science all seem to come to mind. But what about farming, agriculture, crops that are grown around them? To some this may be part of the school curriculum and others it may not be. Maybe some kids get their agriculture lessons at home from "ranch school" or going to work with Mom and Dad. But to a majority of kids, they aren't learning the lessons of agriculture.


That is why I am so glad when organizations step up and take the lead to keep agriculture in the classroom. There are some great partners like Ag in the…

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…