For yet another year at Almendras Chirlata we have started the almond harvest. This year the harvest has been brought forward due to the high temperatures suffered in the previous months and the lack of rain and strong droughts.
When do we know that it is the right time to harvest almonds?
It is the almond itself that shows us that it is at the exact moment of being harvested, when the shell is very hard and the pod is completely open.
How do we live the harvest in Almendras Chirlata?
September is an intense month at the Chirlata farm, the whole family is involved in the almond harvest and the whole process of shelling and drying.
We bid farewell to the hottest month of the Granada Altiplano by preparing all the necessary equipment for the traditional harvest by hand. We check the bales that have not been punctured from previous harvests and we take out the sticks and hammers for the harvest.
Once everything has been checked, the most eagerly awaited moment arrives: the almond harvest begins.
How do we collect almonds?
Harvesting in our almond orchards is divided into traditional harvesting by hand and harvesting with a tractor and a vibrating fan.
For the smallest almond trees, bundles and a hand-held hammer are our allies for manual harvesting. We cover the trunk and the ground of the almond tree with bundles and then we hoe the almond tree, tapping it gently on the trunk so that the almonds fall on the canvas. With a stick we go over all the branches so that nothing is left on the tree. A simple but laborious process, as this is how we harvest most of our almond crop.
At Almendras Chirlata, we also have older almond trees, which means that they have already formed the trunk and are ready to be harvested with an umbrella, which is a process. The umbrella also does the shelling process of the almond once it falls into the umbrella.
Once the almonds have been harvested and the husk has been removed, the next step is to spread them out in the sun so that the kernels finish drying naturally to reduce their moisture content. After leaving them to dry for 2-3 days, the almonds are ready to be shelled and shared with all of you.