It’s the most wonderful time of the year - Bloom!
Here in the Central Valley are visions of frothy white almond orchards wherever you go. The smell of the sweet blossoms is in the air, and you can hear the buzz of the bees when you walk outside. Simply stunning.
Bloom is an important time of year for us. This is when the bees and the wind do the important job of pollinating. The weather needs to be nice for the bees to do their work -if it’s too cold, they like to stay inside. If it freezes, the blossoms and pollinated nutlets can die. If it’s wet, we have to watch out for fungus. Who knew bees and trees could be so sensitive?
Bloom is also a time of hope and promise. After a foggy winter it is so refreshing to see the flowers starting to emerge on the trees. This is when we know warm weather is on its way and soon the green leaves and daily sunshine will replace the cold damp of winter.
Almond farmers are busy watching the weather, spraying fungicides as needed at night (to protect the bees), and preparing for warmer weather irrigation by repairing pumps, drip systems, sprinklers, and equipment. New trees have also recently been planted: both replants of single trees and replacement of entire orchards as they age out.
Here in Ripon, California, it’s Almond Blossom Festival time. We look forward every year to celebrating our heritage and the almond industry with our community. There will be a parade, a race, diaper derby, lots of good food, a carnival and many good times with friends and family.
Our family runs the Almond Blossom Run each year, and we eat at the spaghetti dinner Brent’s dad has served at with the Lion’s Club for over 40 years. Brooke and Dayna were Almond Blossom Queens in 1993 and 1990 respectively, so we always enjoy looking back at photos of those times as well.
What are you and your family's favorite times of the year?