The Life Cycle of an Almond
Reap from what Blue Diamond sows. California produces over 80% of the world’s almonds. And over half of California’s almond growers are members of our cooperative—maintaining the highest standards of responsible farming practices since 1910. See what happens season–to–season until the moment when mature almonds become Blue Diamond almonds.
November to early February: Buds are already on the trees, but need a period of cold weather to rest and build up resources for the next season’s crop.
Late February, early March: Bees are brought to the orchard to carry pollen between alternating rows of almond varieties. Bees need warm, sunny and calm conditions for optimal pollination.
July and August: The hull begins to split open, exposing the almond shell and allowing it to dry.
Kernels are sorted electronically through a laser light system, dropped into separate bins according to size, then graded to meet customer specifications.
Almonds are available to be shipped in their natural state or further processed—blanched, whole, sliced, slivers or splits, diced or chopped, meal or flour, paste or butter—and roasted.
Late February, early March: Buds burst into bloom, ready for pollination. It’s a critical time that influences the size of the crop. Nonpareil first to bloom; Mission one of the last to bloom.
March to June: Almonds continue to mature, with the shell hardening and kernel formation.
Mid-August through October: Mechanical tree shakers shake almonds from trees, still in-shell, to the ground, where they dry naturally for 8–10 days in the orchard before being swept into rows and picked up by machines.
After almonds are sized, they are kept in controlled storage conditions to maintain quality.