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?
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.
This is quite fascinating news to me. I love everything Portguese and I am kind of disappointed that you are not living there all year… I’m even looking for a P. crash course once we are safely established back in Switzerland.
ooh you should visit Restless Jo (if you haven’t already), she does now live there full time and has a lovely blog – https://restlessjo.me/
Thank you. I only read her latest post. Had to stop or wd. have started to cry…. Such beauty, and yet, also in “that” paradise, social separation is the parole of the day/week/month.
I know it is such a challenge when you are used to going out and walking and socialising every day. Guess we have to keep reminding ourselves that self isolating is for the health and well-being of health/care workers, friends, family, neighbours and most importantly the vulnerable.
It makes good sense to use the old olive trees like that. What an interesting look taken up close like that. The ylook a bit like alien antennae!
Hee hee they do don’t they . . . and yes a very sensible way to use the trees. It takes years to grow an olive tree so this not only reuses old trees, it gives the new tree a huge head start
It’s fascinating how they graft the trees. I had no idea what I was seeing in the photo until you explained.
You are not alone Sheryl in being unsure, and the way of course I have cropped my photograph confused more. Grafting is a fascinating process
I’m glad you explained it! I couldn’t see what little blobs of plasticine on top of sticks could be used for. 😀
hee hee, it is a bit odd isn’t it!