Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday / Almond Harvest~

Yay! Harvest is over for another year, and I thought
I would show you some of the photos that I've taken over the years of the scenery around our almond orchard.

I also thought, I would tell you and show you a little bit about the harvesting process too!

For those of you who could care less about almond harvesting, well...
I hope you'll at least enjoy my photos!

(you can click to enlarge all photos)
The photo above and below I took of our neighbors really large pond, with their barn and the Sutter Buttes in the background.

For those of you who have never heard of the Sutter Buttes, they are the worlds smallest mountain range.

Just a little bit of trivia for ya right there!

This photo above I took from inside our orchard with our neighbors goat pen in the background.

This photo above is the view across the street.

These photos were taken in the springtime when everything is green and beautiful!
I guess this isn't really a seasonally correct time to show these but oh well... maybe my next post will be about Autumn!!

This photo above is of the view from the back of the orchard, beautiful and unspoiled.
Unfortunately someone bought the property since this photo and turned this gorgeous view into their equipment yard. Can you believe it!

Well at least now they are planting an olive grove there that hopefully when it's mature will camouflage all their machinery!

Here's hubby!

This photo was taken at sunset... my favorite time of day. So many beautiful shadows accenting the landscape.

Hubby here again, with bee hives in the background at spring bloom.
If you want an almond crop you have to bring in bees for pollination.

Unfortunately, In resent years prices for bees have quadrupled,
due to bee colony collapse disorder.

Another photo of the bloom.

Pedals are falling, it kinda looks like pink snow!
The almond trees usually bloom in February,
then by August the nuts are mature and it's time for harvest.

Ha ha! How many times have you read the words
"nuts" and "mature" in the same sentence!

Oh my goodness, I just crack myself up!!

Speaking of cracking... when the hulls of the nut crack open,

you're about 3 weeks or so from starting harvest.

We grow 4 different varieties of almonds. Approximately 2/3 of our orchard are Non-pariels, they are they earliest variety to be harvested.
The others are ready about two weeks later.

Non-pariels they are also a premium nut that sell for a higher price than other varieties.

The first stage of harvest is to shake the almonds off the tree with a tree shaker.
Watch here in this You Tube video I found.

After the nuts have dried on the ground for a few days, the next step is to sweep the nuts into a pile down the center of each row, as shown in the next video.

Then the nuts are ready to be picked up with the harvester, or what we call the "pick up machine".
Here's a link below to another video that I couldn't embed here.

I really liked it because it has some cool music and it also shows the harvester picking up the almonds from the center rows.
So, there you have it in a nutshell!!
Omgosh, there I go crackin myself up again!

Okay everyone, class is over now and you may be excused!!
Only there is a short little assignment...
Just write a brief comment and hit the publish button
and you're guaranteed a "A"!!! :)
Then head over to Susan's at
and visit her and the other Outdoor Wednesday participants!

Thanks for stopping by for a peek!

Your Friendly (nutty?) California Almond Grower!


Riet said...

Oh my goodness, you do live in a beautyful countryside. Wow. Nice oictures too. have a nice day
Riet, The netherlands

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Sherri,

You didn't just crack up yourself!! You are hysterical!!

First of all, you live in your own little paradise. Please...exchange homes with me!! Your views are gorgeous!! The harvesting of the almonds is really and truly interesting!! I love learning something new when I blog. Thanks so much!!

My backyard is in the process of dropping all of it's walnuts so the squirrels are in a frenzy. I have a post to do tomorrow and maybe I will show one of these strange looking walnuts in its shell. If I do, I will link to you because everyone should see this interesting (and highly amusing) post!!


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

:) I loved your post! Not long ago I lived in the Central Valley of California and we used to make the trip north to San Francisco fairly often. I used to wonder about the Almond groves as we drove by so this post was so interesting to me. We lived in Bakersfield. I loved that drive. My husband died a year ago this past March 26 and I moved away but that trip was one of my very favorites. I may never take it again but I will always remember that part of California. Always! Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures with us. I loved it!

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Sherri, well, you certainly live in a beautiful part of the country. Your pictures are fabulous!!

Always so good to hear from you....you make me smile, sweet girl!!

Love and hugs, Barb :-)

Mary said...

This was fascinating. I've always wondered how this was done. I loved your photos and your videos. Thanks for sharing.

Kitty Valerie said...

Country is always a pleasure to see.
Thanks for sharing. Have a great day,

Cindy said...

Sherri, You live in a very beautiful area! Your YouTube videos were very interesting, too. Wow, I learned something today, school was lots of fun, thanks! And I love almonds!!!
Hugs, Cindy S.

June said...

Oh My Gosh, Sherri, your pictures of your landscape are gorgeous. They would make the most beautiful calendar. You live in so much beauty. I was so intrigued by the harvesting process. I probably eat a ton of almonds a year so I'm very interested in where my nuts come from. You crack me up!

Brenda said...

What a truly gorgeous place to live! I'm so envious. Looks ever so tranquil.

Sue said...

Well, in a nutshell,(tee hee) I would have to say this is the most interesting thing I have learned about in a long time! You live in a beautiful area, and I had no idea that this is what you did in your free time- HA HA... Seriously, this is gorgeous country and it must be quite time consuming to tend to all of this. Never have heard of the Sutter Buttes, BTW. See, you have just educated me and Blondie today.

I hope to get back to CA soon. We still have our son's things in storage in Oakhurst. No opportunities for jobs out there for him, so he is back in school here.

Thanks for stopping by. I have so much catching up to do from this Susan's party. I spent the day in bed yesterday (not sick- just didn't sleep at all the nite before), so I am really behind. Have a good weekend! Hope all is still well with your mom and sister.

hugs, Sue

The Stylish House said...

I am really surprised, because I always envisioned you living in a suburban neighborhood! I love, love, love where you live and want to move next door! The countryside is so beautiful and tranquil looking. Thank you for sharing the information on almonds; it is always fun and interesting to learn about these types of things. My sister has an apple orchard in Iowa and it’s time to pick the harvest, but they do it by hand.
Hugs, Cathy

Melissa Miller said...

Sherri this is truly fascinating! We adore almonds! We always have them around here. I had no idea you guys did this. How neat and stunningly beautiful country too! :)

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