Posted on : March 15th, 2023
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These vegetarian spring rolls with almonds are a healthy and delicious snack or appetizer that’s perfect for the spring season.
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!