You might remember that I recently posted a photo of the hulls on the almonds on my single tree as they started to split. This post is about the process that I discovered I need to do with an almond harvest! A huge thanks goes out to the AG school in our area: U.C. Davis!
To remind you, here is a photo of the tree as the almonds were ripening and starting to split the hulls…
Husks are splitting
I went out to my tree last weekend, and thought to myself, “Self, we should pick these now. The squirrels have not gotten to them yet!” Boy was I right! Just an FYI: You need to start harvesting nuts when 75% of the tree have hulls that are split.
The U.C. Davis document I discovered was how to harvest nut fruits. If you have questions, you can get to their site with the information on this by clicking Harvesting and Storing Your Home Orchard’s Nut Crop. This article is chock full of information.
So, I had pulled all these almonds off the tree, hulls and all, by either shaking the tree, knocking on the trunk, or just releasing the nut from where it was. Here is what I took from the tree. Notice the difference from the first photo…
Just off the tree
I let them sit overnight, and then looked for what to do next, which is when I found the link to the U.C. Davis document on harvesting nuts in your home orchard. The first thing that this let me know to do was to immediately remove the hulls. I ran into the kitchen and what I thought amount to about 30 almonds turned out to be about 65! Not bad for a first crop from a 5 year old tree! So, I hulled, and hulled and hulled!
The next step was to lay the almonds on a screen or another flat surface to dry. Even after coming off the tree, they are just not ready! I did not know that, and we even tried one that tasted pretty good. Drop the number now down 64 almonds. What I did next was take a piece of parchment paper, which I placed on a cookie sheet, and then scattered the nuts in a single layer.
The suggestion from U.C. Davis is to continually move the nuts around to ensure even drying.
Drying the almonds
I stirred the nuts for 4 days, and then I bagged them and tossed them into the freezer. The U.C. Davis site indicates that this will kill off any egg larvae that might be inside the nut meat. And, I can store them in the freezer for up to 2 years! While they will not last this long, if you grow your own, you can store them at room temperature for up to eight months after they come out of the freezer!
Here is what they look like today before going into the freezer for a few days…We do, after all, want to eat them!
Have you ever harvested a nut? I would love for you to share your story with me! Please do comment with your story!
And, thank you for stopping by for a spell today! I appreciate it and I hope that you have enjoyed your time on my site! Have a fantastic Friday!
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