How Almonds Grow
In the fall, flower parts begin to develop on the edges of the growing bud. By mid-December, pollen grains are present. The tiny bud remains dormant until early January when it grows rapidly.
A good chill during November and December followed by a warmer January and February coaxes the first almond tree blossoms from their buds. Because the almond tree is not self-pollinating, at least two different varieties of trees are necessary for a productive orchard. Bees pollinate alternating rows of almonds varieties. From February onward, orchards should be frost-free, have mild temperatures (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and minimal rain so blossoms can flourish and bees can do their job.
After the petals drop and the trees have leafed out, the first signs of the fuzzy gray-green "fruit" appear. The hull continues to harden and mature and in July it begins to split open. Between mid-August and late October, the split widens, exposing the shell, which allows the kernel (nut) to dry. The whole nut and stem finally separate and, shortly before harvest, the hull opens completely.
State of the art technology is used to ensure the highest quality almonds. California's growing and sanitary standards lead the world, both in the field and in the almond processing plant. To prepare for harvest, orchard floors are swept and cleared. Mechanical tree "shakers" knock unshelled nuts to the ground, where they are allowed to dry before they are swept into rows and picked up by machine. Finally, they are transported to carts and towed to the huller.
At the processing plant, a random sample of almond shells are cracked open and the nuts inside are graded according to size and quality. Almonds are inspected to make sure they are whole, clean, well-dried and virtually free from decay, rancidity, insects, foreign matter, mold and any kind of breakage or blemish. Almonds are then processed and packed to specification in an assortment of sizes and shapes. Stored properly at 40 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity, almonds have a shelf life of up to three years.
Historians generally agree that almonds and dates, both mentioned in the Old...Read More
Member of the California Almond Board
Waterford Nut Company
519 Timmie Lane Waterford, CA 95386
Fax :: 209-874-3494