Road Trip to See the Almond Blossoms
Every year around February, the Central Valley landscape brightens with orchards full of white and pink almond blossoms. It is truly a sight to see.
There are rows and rows of blooming almond trees, which make it seems as though the valley is covered in snow.
I grew up in this area and loved seeing all the trees in bloom. Later I learned the importance of the almond crop and farming overall. Now that I have Atlas, I want to teach him about where our food comes from and about all the people who put their hearts and souls into these crops.
He’s only two years old, so for now I try to take him to as many farms as possible just to play. I knew I wanted him to see the almond trees in bloom, so I decided to take him and our friend Jessica and her son Henry to go find some.
We ended up in Ripon, CA, about ten miles from my hometown. Thanks to an old friend I found out that Mistlin Sports Park in Ripon is lined by orchards. This is an easy location to find and gave us the option of letting the kids play in the park if they weren’t interested in the blooms.
Atlas and Henry had plenty of fun running around the almond orchard collecting sticks and seeing the blossoms fall to the ground, so we didn’t go to the park.
If you are interested in seeing the blooms, now is the time to go! They don’t last very long if it’s windy or rainy.
Things to know if you want to take a drive to see the blooms:
1. Bloom dates vary depending on temperature and rainfall, but are typically in Feb–March.
2. Almond trees grow all along the Central Valley, from the Sacramento area all the way down to Bakersfield. (see map below)
3. Most farms don’t do tours during this time, but it’s pretty easy to stop and see the trees.
4. Keep in mind these are crops and they belong to someone, so don’t damage any trees.
5. While the trees are in bloom they are being pollinated by bees, so if you are allergic, skip this trip.
6. There are a couple attractions related to the almond blossoms worth checking out, such as the Fresno County Blossom Trail and the Ripon Almond Blossom Festival.