Top Fruit

Over on my other blog I am keeping myself amused this month with the Squares blogging challenge, and as frequently happens when hosting the challenge I find I have spare squares. This is one of them, and as I took it in Portugal last year I thought I’d share it here. Do you know what it is?

Olive Trees Grafted

It is a newly grafted olive tree. A common sight in the Algarve in the winter months as farmers reuse old trees, rather than wait years for a new tree to germinate and grow.

Olive trees are very slow growing, and are also one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world. There is uncertainty when the first olive trees first appeared in Portugal as there is sparse documentary evidence. In researching this post I came across a blog which suggested it was as late at the 18th century, however most botanists and historians agree it was probably the Romans who brought olives to Portugal. It would appear though that it took a while for the Portuguese to consider it an important crop. Abu Zacaria, a renowned botanist from Seville, wrote a tome in the 12th century on their cultivation in and around Seville, and al-Idrisi, a 12th century Moroccan explorer also describes in depth olives and Seville in his extraordinary Tabula Rogeriana. However of olives in the Algarve there is little or no mention during this period, and even in our favourite book on Algarvian agriculture it highlights that Portuguese olive oil doesn’t have a great reputation. We though love, and much prefer it to the peppery Italian products that dominate English supermarkets.

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

43 thoughts

    1. One of the many upsides of growing up with parents who were/are keen gardeners is that some of it sunk in!

    1. When we first came across them we only realised what trees they were because of debris left at the base

  1. At first, I thought they were insect antennae in your first photo, Becky. How wrong was I?

        1. 😆 And now so can I! The two on the left look as though they are facing each other…! We can’t blame this on the Moon!

    1. oh my I never saw that until now, but you are so right. They really do!

      They do quite often burn the rest of the tree, so there may have been a bonfire somewhere near!!

  2. Yet I recall that Sonia started a bush in Teddington and it romped away very quickly. Perhaps on a better stock.

  3. It’s funny what sounds so exotic from a distance. Olive groves are non-existent in the Midwest, where I live. I did travel through some when I was in Italy, so I remember the rolling hillside thick with shrubby, dwarfed trees.

    I had to look up one word because I couldn’t understand it from context.
    Algarvia! I’d never heard of it.

    “Algarvia is a civil parish in the municipality of Nordeste, on the island of São Miguel in the Portuguese Azores.”

    So not only is your post on such a specific crop, in a far away country, but it’s on a narrow slice of island with a form of government I’ve never heard of! Next I will be googling a civil parish.

    Thanks for the journey. Now tell me, was this a journey for you as well, or are you describing life outside your front door?

    1. ooh I use Algarvian to describe anything in the Algarve, the southern region of mainland Portugal. It is a term used quite often. Not surprised though to learn there is a small parish in the Azores called Algarvia 🙂

      1. You mean Google misled me? Curses. Unfortunately I can’t give Google up, or I’d never be able to spell really hard words again or find fun facts.

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