Almond Blossom Season

Every spring, acres of almond orchards around here burst into incredible displays of pale pink of white blooms, and start to buzz, literally, as bees go to work pollinating trees. If you neglect to get out and about around the  time the blossoms are on the branches, however, you could miss them entirely.

We always make a point of timing some walks along the country roads in Winters or Dixon to when the blooms are at peak, and snap some family photos. And they always end up being some of my favorites…

As we watched the kids zooming down the roads, I found myself thinking back to the time Hudson brought his balance bike (which Aron ended up carrying most of the way home); Skyler was a newborn, along for the ride in a stroller.

What a difference in just four short years!

Some trivia: Did you know that California grows over 80 percent of the world’s almonds? Our Mediterranean climate (cold winter, mild spring, and hot, dry summer) is ideal for the crop.

If you’re in the area this weekend, the timing is perfect for the Capay Valley Almond Festival. The six-town event, which has been happening since 1915, showcases the Capay region and its produce with entertainment, crafts, food, and family activities. Full Belly Farm, where I once had a birthday dinner, will have a big presence in the town of Rumsey, for example—they will be making wood-fired pizzas, hosting a farmers market stand and a petting zoo (with baby lambs). Here’s a description that I wrote of the day in 2014, and a map of this year’s events.

Although the forecast says mostly sunny for Sunday, it will be chilly! Hopefully not too chilly for the bees! Pack some warm clothes.

P.S. Two recipes for using your almonds: Plum tart with almond streusel and Maple Almond Butter. Almond Blossoms from 201720162014, and 2013.

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