Orchards and groves: close relatives, worked, or working, trees, they occur throughout Europe as both rich habitats and heritage features in the landscape.
I am paraphrasing Ian Rotherham of Sheffield Hallam University here – a man far more knowledgable than I on the misunderstood and threatened resources that are orchards and groves. (Orchards and Groves: Their History, Ecology, Culture and Archaeology, Landscape Archaeology and Ecology, Vol. 7, 2008, published by Wildtrack Publishing).
I do know how to appreciate them, though, and was privileged to be able to visit the almond, citrus and olive groves of southern Spain’s Andalusia at the beginning of March – a pre-season dose of spring for this traditional orchard fan(atic) from north of the Alps!
In fact, with elements of spring, summer and autumn all happening at once, it was a real feast for the senses!
Some almonds in blossom, some already fruiting, depending on location and elevation.
Citrus, ripe for the picking and on your doorstep, literally…
Magnificent, majestic symbols of the heritage of which they form part: olive trees,
many still resplendent with olives as the harvest season draws to a close.
The feast for the senses continues at Malaga’s main food market: olives, almonds and so much more, by the bucket load!
With many elements of local distinctiveness on offer too!