“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.”
John Keats, 1820
It’s been a mixed year for fruit; the locals will say it’s because it’s been the driest, or wettest, or coldest, or hottest year they’ve ever known. All I know is that all our oranges, kumquats, lemons, apples and pears have come to nought. Perhaps because we’ve over-watered, under-watered – your guess is as good as ours! The trees were all planted three and a half years ago, and the only decent crop we’ve had was kumquats last year and the year before (they make great marmalade).
The walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds have not borne fruit either this year, probably the battle to stay alive took too much out of them? We have five pomegranate trees, all lovely and healthy, producing one single fruit between them. The three weeping mulberries gave us sweet pickings as we walked past, but nothing worth gathering. Figs? We have eight trees and only one has produced, and even that was dismal. This photo shows one of the last figs left on that tree, stubbornly clinging to the bough! This little nasturtium has just appeared, obviously self-seeded. We’ve about 12 olives, but all too young to give us any fruit. October is the time you see faded tarpaulins randomly stretched out under the trees while someone with a long stick starts the vigorous process of harvesting the dark red balls.
We are on very high terrain, and the winds here can reach hurricane force at specific times of the year. Yet our little wooden house stands proud and firm. Ideal for a wind turbine, do I hear you say? I will postpone writing about this and our other adventures with alternative energy for some future blogs.