What Do Almond Growers Do?

Lori Kilchermann

Some of the things that almond growers do are plant, cultivate and facilitate pollination of the almond trees. They also pick the almonds at the proper time. Some almond growers operate packaging companies and take other almond growers' crops to clean and package for market. For the most part, almond growers operate almond farms that produce all of the world's almonds.

Shelled and whole almonds.
Shelled and whole almonds.

Almonds are grown on trees found in almond farms. These groves of almond trees are not called almond orchards, they are simply referred to as almond groves by the almond growers. The trees are pruned and topped very similar to a tree in an apple orchard and require occasional trimming to create an attractive tree for producing almonds. Once ripened, the growers use large vibratory machines to grab the trees and shake the almonds out of the trees. The almonds are collected in a canvas tarp that is placed around the tree before it is shaken so as not to miss too many of the dropped nuts.

Almonds on an almond tree.
Almonds on an almond tree.

Occasionally, growers will attempt to graft two different types of almond trees together in the hopes that a new breed of almond will be created that is impervious to disease and blight. During pollinating season, almond growers have millions of bees shipped in and placed strategically around the grove of trees to assist in the pollination of the almond trees. Bees are the best source of pollination among the almond trees, and the hives typically remain in place until the blooms have almost left all of the almond trees. The farmers create usable roads and trails for the beekeepers to travel while they are placing the various bee hives. Attempts have been made by the growers to create a self-pollinating almond tree, however, the bees are the most efficient method of achieving pollination to date.

Some almond growers travel and represent the entire almond growing population at certain events where the almond is being discussed. At government functions and social gatherings, almond growers can be seen pleading their case for clean water, clean rain and fresh air. Some almond farmers provide almonds that are used all over the world, while others produce all of the almonds for one particular area of the globe, a certain company or for local consumption. On the largest farms, growers not only pick the almonds, they smoke, salt and blanch the almonds to be packaged and taken to market.

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