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.
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.
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.
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!
1 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.