Shake, Sun, and Sweep: The Almond Harvest Story, Part 1

Posted August 27th, 2019

It’s harvest time! For the California almond community, harvest – which occurs between August and October – is the busiest and one of the most exciting times of the year.

Using specialized equipment and several steps, each nutritious1 almond has quite a journey to get from California’s orchards to your pantry! Let’s start at the beginning…

During the first stage of harvest – right around mid to late August (right now!) – a machine called a shaker visits every almond tree, clamps onto the trunk, and shakes the almonds off the branches, making a blanket of almonds on the orchard floor.

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Protected by their outer hulls and shells, the almonds then spend 7-10 days bathing in the California sun. During this time the nuts dry out, giving them the distinctive crunch we know and love.

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After the nuts are dry, the sweeping begins! During this stage, almond farmers navigate sweepers up and down orchard rows, using fans and built-in brooms – or “sweeping tines” – to arrange the almonds into neat rows down the center of each tree row.

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With the almonds neatly organized, what’s the next step in the almond harvest process? Stay tuned…

… or you can get a sneak peek here!

 

Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.