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Picking up almonds

Almond harvest has quite a few steps and processes involved. I showed a glimpse into shaking and sweeping almonds on our farm. Next up, is picking up the almonds.

Almond harvest has been in full swing for the past six plus weeks across California's Central Valley. We just finished shaking over the weekend. Now it is the final push to sweep, condition and pick up all our almonds over the next two weeks. Crossing my fingers we finish by the end of next week. It is a long process to get all varieties off the trees and on their way to the hullers.

There are so many moving parts and equipment involved it is so much easier to just show you. Telling you would take too many words and jargon that no one understands. Since most of you probably wont be able to come out the farm to take a look first hand, check out this video I made to show you all about picking up almonds out of the field and getting them on their way to the huller.  

Until Next  Time,
Almond Girl Jenny

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 different seasons. So, my favorites for them are different and what worked for one didn't always work for the other one at the same stage in life. I will share some insight into my summer essentials and how they made my life easier on the farm.

We are blessed to farm with my husband's brother and father. My little niece and nephew spend countless hours at the farm as well. So I enlisted my sister in laws as to see what her essentials were. Not surprising, but we agreed on our top 5 essentials.
Hope they are as helpful for you, too!

*** This is not a sponsored post, just a list of my favs. I did NOT get paid for this post. links are not affiliated with me in anyway***
  1. Bob Stroller. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bob stroller. It is of course known for being the perfect jogging stroller, but I do not have time or will power to keep up with my jogging routine like I did before kids. So, let's be real here. I do not jog with my Bob. My SIL does and she loves it just as much as me. But, the heavy duty wheels of the Bob are perfect for orchards. The bicycle type wheels can walk through an almond orchard like a breeze. I loved the durability of the wheels and higher frame. It is ideal for pushing a stroller through tall orchard weeds, squirrel holes, tractor tire ruts, and just about anything else you can imagine I find in the orchard. I loved my bob so much with my son, I invested in the double bob when my daughter came around. This time though, I bought it used from a family friend, because well I just couldn't get enough strength to spend that much on a stroller.
  2. Baby carrier. Now, there are so many different brands and models out there it is ridiculous. I know plenty of people who swear by different ones. With my son, being born in December, I enjoyed the Moby wrap as an infant and through the first several months. I switched to a Baby Bjorn and Infantino at different stages. With my daughter, being born in June, it was too hot for that cotton wrap to be wrapped around me. I ended up loving the Infantino carrier. It strapped around me on the waist and the back of my neck. I felt it gave me great support and wasn't too heavy. But I also felt that it secured my daughter really well on the farm. It was great for riding on the gator or just walking through the hot summer orchard. It was also so much easier to take on and off while jumping in and out of the truck. I enjoyed the breathable fabric and didn't get too hot during the summer. 
    Moby Wrap with my daughter in June and Infantino with my son in October
  3.  Crocs are a true family favorite for me. They are perfect for messy, dirty and sweaty kids. I love the traditional style for my kids in the summer. They can play outside in the mud and I don't have to worry about getting their shoes dirty. I can just hose off the crocs and my kids feet and put them right back in them. No worries. They really are so easy for kids who are always outside and dirty. Granted my kids still wear boots when they are on the farm and really going to work with us, my son especially but they wear crocs probably just as much. But around the farm at our house, in the garden, out with the chickens, to the pool, crocs are my go to summer shoe. This is something my SIL was a little hesitant on, but I convinced her to give them a try and shes a lover now too! My nephew is a new croc convert and loving them just as much now too.
  4. Sunscreen. This is a must. We farm outside, we live pretty much outside, the sun is outside and it is hot. With skin cancer so prevalent in my husband's fair skinned family, sunscreen really is part of the summer routine. It really should be more of our routine. My sister in law swears by the babyganic brand. It isn't as oily and seems to last a good amount of time. I try to just buy anything over 35 SPF and apply regularly.  
  5. iplay hats. These are my go to summer hats for infants and toddlers. My daughter still wears hers and loves it. I love that they tie around the neck. You don't have to worry about it flying off while the kiddo is running through the orchard, or them pulling the hat off and losing it. They are also perfect for the pool and getting wet. They dry so easy and are machine washable. I of course buy white, because it's the cutest and most versatile color, but my daughter is a hot mess and always dirty. They wash so well and come out clean as ever. I also love that the head band is adjustable. My daughter has worn the same hat for the last two summers because you can widen and shrink the head band with your kids head. Perfect for getting the best bang for your buck. 
      • As an added bonus, our family is also a lover of iplay swim diapers too! I loved using the reusable swim diapers with both of my kids. The ease of washing them and reusing is so nice. I was never a fan of the one time use swim diapers, I always thought they were so gross and saggy when wet. My SIL also was able to score the swim diapers with the snaps on the side, makes for easy on and off when the kid and diaper are wet. Everyone knows how hard it is to get wet bathing suits on and off! 
  6. Klean Kanteen. I have been a lover of Klean Kanteen for years. I think I bought my first one in college and loved how durable it was. My nieces had the kid versions when they were growing up, so when I had kids I knew I wanted to try them out. I loved how durable and strong the kanteens are. They can handle anything a toddler throws at them, or anywhere a toddler throws them! They keep the contents safe in any element and a big one for me is bring spill proof! I had such a hard time finding kid cups that didn't spill everywhere. And a big plus for me is that they are made in my hometown.
These are a few of my favorite things to help keep us active and on the go in the summer. It can be hard to have the kids on the farm during the summer months, but also is just part of life. I hope my summer essentials help you to enjoy your summer on the farm.

Do you have summer essentials that you can't live without?
Message me or comment below, I would love to hear!

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny


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