1. Rest in Peace Paul (Kegger) If you would like to help the family in this time of great sorrow and need, you may donate on their GoFundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/mckechnie-medical-and-funeral-fund?
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Typical Day In My Back Yard

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by usedto, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. bobabode

    bobabode AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just binge read through the whole thread. Quite the story and documentary of almond growing out here in the Golden State. Thanks, man. :yes:

    BTW, how's that Zinfandel coming along?
     
  2. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    I met with the label designer last week, and he's working on them as we speak.


    As far as the wine itself, we're supposed to do another taste in January, and it should be bottled in June or July.
     
  3. Jeffery

    Jeffery High Powered Mutant Subscriber

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    See, I always thought "Jordan Almond" was what the candy was called - didn't realize that was the type of almond in the candy!
     
  4. blazeaglory

    blazeaglory Active Member

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    Awesome!!
     
  5. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Haircut time!

    Pruning crew started the end of last week, and just made it up to the warehouse today. Mostly removing unwanted lower branches and opening the centers up a bit. Looking more like trees than bushes now.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Thought you might like to see these photos.

    We go for a walk in the orchard every morning just at sunrise, We had a short storm roll through last night, so it was too wet. The sun was just peeking up, so I grabbed my camera and shot a few photos. Here's the remainder of the storm in the background, with the trees in full bloom:

    [​IMG]

    A few minutes later, it started to sprinkle, then this popped up:



    [​IMG]

    By the time I got back to the office, the rain increased, and a double rainbow showed up. You could see the whole thing, but it was too close for a single photo, so I took these two:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. bobabode

    bobabode AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Cool pics, BP. Thanks.
     
  8. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Time to bump this again. This will be the first year of complete mechanical harvest. The machines are supposed to move in this week, so I'll show how all that works. Here's the trees now:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a closer shot of the nuts on the tree:



    [​IMG]

    When the knocker and sweepers show up, I'll take photos.
     
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  9. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Sooner than I thought. Went out for my walk about 6:30, and the knocker showed up in the field. Should make up to where my office is sometime later today.
     
  10. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Location:
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    So here's the shaker - built by OMC (Orchard Machinery Co.), called a Shockwave.

    [​IMG]

    A closer shot - notice the rotary broom ahead of the front wheel. They have one in front of all three tires to sweep the nuts out of the way.

    [​IMG]

    Side view:

    [​IMG]

    A little closer shot of the shaker arm. These guys don't stop long enough to get a good photo. From the time they clamp onto a tree, shake it, move forward to the next and clamp on it takes, about 10 seconds. Pretty quick.
    [​IMG]

    The shaker arm is on a slide beam. It slides out, clamps on the trunk, shakes, lets go, and retracts so the machine can move onto the next. These shakers have been around for quite some time. There have been thousands of hours of research done developing the best way to shake the tree without tearing the bark, girdling, or shearing off the small roots. Not sure just what motion these use, but I assume it's the least harmful.

    The end result:

    [​IMG]

    There are nuts left in the trees, so I'm sure a hand crew will follow with bamboo poles to knock the stragglers loose. This variety tends to stick to the branches a little more, and the trees are young. At $3-4.00/lb., is usually cost effective if there are many nuts left.

    The sweeper comes next.
     
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  11. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    So the shaker drivers stopped at the end of the row behind my office to take a break. I brought them a soda, and their boss showed up. He let me get inside the machine and shake a tree or two. The drive is hydrostatic - one pedal for forward, one for reverse. The shaker arm is a 4-way joystick with four buttons on top. Up, down, in, out, twist, and clamp/shake. I imagine it takes an hour or two to get it down pat, but it sure beats knocking them with a rubber mallet like in the old days!
     
  12. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Sweepers started this morning. They make a pass along side one row, with the reel sweeping the nuts to the center. There's a blower in the back that blows the nuts between the trees over to the next row. When they get to the end, they turn around and do the other side.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The end result is a nice windrow of nuts that the pickup machine will come and get. There are three sweepers working. I imagine they'll get about 1/3 of the field done today.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Different pickup machine this year. This one is Power Take Off driven - uses the tractor to pull and operate the machine. Since the trees are still small,, this machine works well with the lighter crop.
    [​IMG]

    After the nuts were picked up they ran the float/scraper through again to cover up all the machine marks, banded some liquid fertilizer at the base of the trees, and turned the sprinklers on to water it in.

    That pretty much sums up taking bare or row crop ground to a producing orchard. These trees should be good for 20-25 years if all goes well. Most of the work is repetitive now - prune, fertilize, keep the weeds down, spray, and prepare for next year's crop.
     
  14. HarmanKardon

    HarmanKardon Tubes still smell funny Subscriber

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    Fantastic pictures in a fascinating thread, thank you! :thumbsup:
     
  15. SolderIron

    SolderIron Super Member

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    2,386
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    California
    Thanks for the field trip! So that is how the shaker works.
     
  16. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Admin Staff Member Admin Subscriber

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    Thank you for the final update.
     
  17. VinylHanger

    VinylHanger Navigaret ex ironia

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    Just read all the way through. What a fun thread.
     
  18. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Almost a year since I posted in this thread, but I figured I'd give you an unfortunate update.

    I originally posted that a local farmer had leased the property from my neighbor and put the orchard in. That was partially correct, but it was actually a larger partnership that was involved.

    Last Friday, one of the partners took off about 2 PM in his twin engine Beechcraft for a short trip to the foothills (AKA gold country) and a town called Columbia, where he was to put his plane in a hangar and drive a waiting car to meet his wife in Pinecrest for a weekend away. He had over 40 years flying experience, as well as being an instructor. When he failed arrived, they started looking. He was last spotted on radar by a nearby town, but went below the radar after that.

    Tuesday the wreckage of his plane was found in rough terrain. Positive ID hadn't been made when the articles were published, but there is little doubt it's him.

    A heartbreaking loss for such a well respected member of the community and business world.
     
  19. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Dang, man. That really is a bummer. And wife waiting for a weekend getaway.

    My condolences to this family.
     

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