Harvesting almonds

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Charithea

  • Hero Member
Harvesting almonds
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:16:26 AM »
This time of the year , here in Cyprus,  a lot of fruits are ready for picking. We have a good crop of apples, and the figs and prickly pears are also plentiful. The latter  thrive without irrigation. Our almond tree produced 5 almonds .  Early this morning I went to pick the almonds from the two established trees in my sister's garden and it appears that I won't have enough almonds to make an Almond torte. See photos of almonds collected this morning. Traditionally a large quantity of almonds is used in the production of sousouko the almonds are threaded onto approx . one metre long cotton thread and later dipped into the hot mixture of grape juice and flour.. The process is repeated twice and then left to dry. The resulting very tasty  sousouko is sold at village fares and delicatesens. I wonder if this lack of almonds is due to the shortage of rain and will our sousouko be more expensive this year? By the way we Cypriots being inventive we have started producing this very old delicacy by using almonds dipped in carob juice and flour. Very different flavour to the  grape juice  but also tasty.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 10:09:16 AM by Alisdair »
I garden in Cyprus, in a flat old farming field, alt. approx. 30 m asl.

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Harvesting almonds
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 05:51:44 AM »
Almonds can be very susceptible to frosts or heavy rain at the time the flowers should be pollinated. Can you remember any heavy weather events at almond blossom time?
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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Charithea

  • Hero Member
Re: Harvesting almonds
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 04:07:57 PM »
Hello Trevor. Our almond tree is aprox. 7 years old and it is not on an irrigation line so watering tends to be a bit irregular. The last winter was extremely dry with little or no significant rain. We never get severe frost. This year the weather has been very erratic and unusual and we did have several days of high winds in Spring. Our neighbour has a very old almond tree,( I remember it being around when I used to come and play with his sisters which by the way now live in Melbourne) which is about 6/7 metres away from ours, and always has lots of blossom in early February, while ours usually flowers a few weeks later. This year even the old tree has produced very few almonds. Charithea.
I garden in Cyprus, in a flat old farming field, alt. approx. 30 m asl.

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Harvesting almonds
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 11:59:10 PM »
Well, almonds are pollinated by bees so very windy weather may have 'blown' them away. Long periods of dry weather may also reduce bee numbers. Are bees kept in managed hives that are moved around the country by bee-keepers, or are they wild bees? Is the virhoa mite killing off bee populations where you live? It is a very serious pest and could be part of the problem if it is in your part of the world. Are there any commercial almond farmers nearby that you could ask - or commercial bee-keepers?
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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Charithea

  • Hero Member
Re: Harvesting almonds
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 12:11:15 PM »
Hello Trevor, thank you for the information. Our neighbour on our left has some bees which he keeps here during autumn, winter and spring and he moves them to his father's field in another district in the summer months.  The bees are being fed by our flower, trees etc. They love the Melia tree best of all. There are also wild bees as we were chased around the field two years ago. Their sting is painful! There aren't many almond groves around here. They have been replaced by loquat trees that produce extra large loquats for the fruit market and also pomegranate trees. There seem to be a big market for them.
I garden in Cyprus, in a flat old farming field, alt. approx. 30 m asl.