In A Nutshell
Have you ever wondered how these delicious almonds went from the Central California farmlands and into your hands? Well, it’s quite a process and we’d like to give you a short rundown on how it all works.
It starts with the perfect climate, which is right here in the San Joaquin Valley. Through the months of November to February, the Valley temperatures get just low enough to help our trees “Chill Out” and go dormant - a vital step in producing next years crop. Everybody needs a break right?
The next step is the bloom; undoubtedly the most beautiful time of the year to visit an almond orchard. This happens during the months of February and March when little pink buds pop out all over the barren limbs. Shortly after, they open up and turn into beautiful snow-white blossoms. This is followed by pollination with the help of our favorite insect friends... the honey bees. Contrary to what you may hear, modern almond farmers really do care about bee health and take extra precaution to help ensure their vitality.
After the blossoms are pollinated and the flower petals fall to the ground, clusters of wispy green leaves push out as the nuts begin to form. This happens during the months of March through June.
Moving into July and early August the hull (outer layer surrounding the nut and shell), which has been growing along with the nut, begins to crack open causing the shell to dry. As the weeks continue leading up to harvest, the hulls continue to open causing the nuts and shells to dry even more!
Next we have the harvest, which most farmers will tell you is the most stressful time of the year. Harvest traditionally happens from mid-August through October. As the different varieties of almonds become ready, the trees are shaken by machines specifically designed for this task. Once on the ground the almonds naturally dry out even more while enjoying the late California Summer sun for about another 7 days. Once they have dried out enough, they are then swept into a row between the trees and picked up by another machine and removed from the field.
After being removed from the field, the almonds are then taken to a hulling facility where the hull and shell are removed followed up by a trip to the processor where they are then washed, and sorted by grade and size. From here they are immediately moved to a controlled storage facility to ensure that they retain the highest quality while waiting to be sold for a variety of uses!
Although this is only a scratch at the surface of what goes into creating almonds and almond snacks, we hope this quick read gave you a little better understanding of how your almonds came to be.