From Planting to Plating: The Life Cycle of the Almond in California

Posted on : March 15th, 2023

Almond text with drawings of almonds in shells, out of shells, and on the branch

If you’re a fan of almonds, then you probably know that California produces over 80% of the world’s supply! But have you ever wondered how these delicious nuts go from being tiny buds on a tree to the tasty snack we all love? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the lifecycle of the almond in California.

Prepare for Planting

To prepare for planting, almond growers first must choose the right variety of almond tree. There are many different types of almonds, each with their own unique characteristics and growing requirements. Some varieties are better suited for certain climates or soil types, while others may be more resistant to pests and diseases.

Once the trees are selected, growers must prepare the soil. They may need to till the ground to loosen the soil, remove rocks or debris, and add fertilizers or soil amendments. The trees are then planted in rows, usually with several feet of space between each tree.

Blossom into Fruit

The almond blossoms are not only beautiful, but they also serve an important purpose in the almond growing process. The blooms are the first step in the creation of the almond fruit, which contains the nut we all know and love.

During the bloom period, almond growers must be careful to protect their trees from frost, which can damage the delicate blooms and prevent proper fruit development. Most almond trees can handle conditions as low as 30 degrees.

Our trees will keep producing blossoms until about mid-end of March depending on the year’s weather. For a while, our orchards have the appearance of snow from all the fallen petals. It’s a short window for these blooms, so be sure to take a second to appreciate them. They’ll be gone before you know it.

This is also the perfect time to take a long romantic walk, get your family together for some photos, or even just enjoy the view as you drive by.

Because the almond bloom season is so early compared to the rest of the Spring flowers, they are one of the first sources of nutrients for the hibernating bees.

Cross-Pollination Period

Almond growers rely heavily on honeybees for pollination. Honeybees are essential for cross-pollination, which is when pollen from one variety of almond tree is transferred to another variety. This process ensures genetic diversity and leads to healthier, more productive almond trees.

Bees are a significant part of the almond-growing process at Maisie Jane’s. Beehives from local beekeepers are brought to our almond orchards to assist with pollination because almonds are not self-pollinating. As the bees move from tree to tree, they pollinate the almond blossoms, allowing each fertilized bloom to grow into an almond.

Bees also help avoid the need to spray harmful pesticides in the orchards. By leaving part of the almond orchards’ natural grasses in place – instead of chopping away the entire vegetation – the green foliage attracts helpful insects – including the bee population – which decreases invasive pests that harm the almond crop.

Fruit Development

After the almond blossoms fall off, the almond fruit begins to develop. At this point, the fruit is still green and fuzzy, and it contains a small, immature almond nut. Over time, the fruit will mature, and the almond nut will harden and develop its protective outer shell.

During this period, almond growers must carefully monitor their trees for pests and diseases. They may also have to thin the fruit to ensure that each tree produces a healthy crop of almonds.

Ready for Harvest

Once the almonds are ready for harvest, growers use a variety of machines to shake the nuts off the trees. One common method is to use a mechanical shaker, which clamps onto the trunk of the tree and vibrates the nuts loose. Another method is to use a trunk shaker, which is a larger machine that shakes the entire tree.

The almonds are left to dry for a few days and are then swept into rows by a sweeper machine. A harvester or pickup machine drives over the rows and brings the nuts up into a cart.

Processed & Packaged for Your Plate

After the almonds are harvested, they are transported to a processing plant. At the processing plant, the almonds are cleaned, sorted, and packaged for distribution.

Some almonds may be roasted or flavored before they are packaged, while others are sold raw. Either way, the result is a delicious and nutritious snack that people all over the world love to eat and use in a variety of recipes.

The lifecycle of the almond in California is a long and intricate process, but it’s worth it to produce such a delicious and nutritious food! From planting to packaging, almond growers must work hard to ensure that their trees are healthy and productive. So, the next time you enjoy a handful of almonds, take a moment to appreciate all the work that went into producing them.

Spring Recipe:
Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Almonds & Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

Maisie Jane's Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Almonds Recipe Card

Click to Download Maisie Jane’s Recipe Card


  • 8 rice paper wrappers
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup Maisie Jane’s Almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced almonds, chopped cilantro, and chopped scallions.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, grated ginger, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and toss gently to combine.
  4. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one rice paper wrapper into the water for about 5-10 seconds, or until it becomes pliable.
  5. Lay the rice paper wrapper on a clean work surface. Place a small amount of the vegetable mixture in the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top and bottom.
  6. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, then fold the sides over the filling. Roll the wrapper up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go.
  7. Repeat with the remaining rice paper wrappers and filling.
  8. Serve the spring rolls immediately with almond butter sauce for dipping.

These vegetarian spring rolls with almonds are a healthy and delicious snack or appetizer that’s perfect for the spring season.


Maisie Jane's Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

Click to Download Maisie Jane’s Recipe Card



  • 1/2 cup Maisie Jane’s Smooth Almond Butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup warm water (more or less, depending on desired consistency)


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, grated ginger, and minced garlic until smooth.
  • Gradually add the warm water to the mixture, whisking constantly, until the desired consistency is reached. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired, or less water if a thicker consistency is preferred.
  • Transfer the dipping sauce to a serving bowl and garnish with sliced almonds or chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
  • Serve the dipping sauce with the vegetarian spring rolls or your favorite snacks.

This almond butter dipping sauce is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional dipping sauces, and its nutty flavor pairs well with a variety of snacks. Enjoy!