My husband and I decided that it would be a good thing if we, or should I say he, knocked down the carobs that clung precariously to the three trees we pick. He extracted the long bamboo pole, he uses to whack the trees, from the stables and then proceeded to knock the remaining carobs down. We had to lock the chickens into the front of their coup whilst Ian went a whacking in there, their help wouldn’t have been appreciated and chickens underfoot wouldn’t have helped in anyway. But I just had to take a photo of “The best Cockerel of the Lot!”
We looked and we looked, honest we both did and decided that all the remaining carobs had been bashed down and were now residing on the ground.
We then proceeded to gather the fallen carobs, oh dear that makes them sound rather immoral, and feeling rather smug that we had “saved” them all, went inside for a well deserved sit down. The evening thermal breezes we have in the mountains makes it so much cooler and helps us to sleep so we fell gratefully into bed to rest after all the exertions of the day.
On waking early we could hear the unmistakable sound of carobs dropping from the trees. Gosh, we thought in our complacency, sound travels well here, actually it does but not in this case, the trees had hidden some of their carobs and chucked them to the ground at the first feeling of movement in the air. We looked outside and there were the carobs on the ground, we looked into the trees again and there lurking behind the leaves were even more just waiting to drop when we aren’t looking. Oh well, just have to pick up the fallers and wait for the others to follow suit.
When we first came to live in the Algarve some nine years ago we read an article about how bashing the trees to get the carobs damages the flowers and therefore next years crop. Our neighbours are born and bred country people and they know a thing or two about looking after the land, trees and plants and I just couldn’t imagine them doing anything that would hurt the next years harvest.
What I have found is when the carobs have fallen. The tree in our courtyard dropped its carobs, with the help of yours truly, before the others and therefore was the first to flower, admittedly there are even now a tiny amount of carobs still attached to the tree but it wouldn’t be worth anyone’s time or energy to bash them down. I wandered around other trees whilst out for a walk, the trees with lots of carobs still on had no flowers whilst the trees that had no or almost no carobs on were in flower. So whoever wrote the original article needs their bumps feeling because the Portuguese people know how to care for their carob trees.
Part 3 might not be the end of this saga so you are forewarned……….