Margreet Stronks Consulting
FOOD for THOUGHT
FOOD for THOUGHT
|Posted on June 4, 2021 at 12:30 AM||comments ()|
It is winter, all of the sudden its wet and grey and the garden is sodden. After a summer of drought and warmth it takes a bit to adjust, but then I rejoice in the fact that my rainwater barrels are full and that I do not have to provide fresh water for the chickens, it is everywhere.
While I was spreading some more seaweed on citrus and brassica, I noticed the leftover almonds on my tree and marveled at the fact that I now have fruit of this reluctant provider. While I picked them off, I remembered...
Years ago I got to know a very kind couple through Free Cycle, the website where we can post our surplus, for someone else to use. As they went through their eqc repairs, there were quite some leftovers which I could use for my outbuildings. One day they posted a tree and I was curious to see if that would be something I could transport and nourish. They had tried to get this almond tree to fruit, but so far it had only given one almond and it was overshadowed by other plants. It was a bit of a job but the tree became part of my landscape and stands proudly in full sun in view of the house and the studio.
Year after year I gave it great care, manure, mulch and good watering and expected at least one other almond, but no such luck. It would blossom pretty dark pink flowers and produce one almond.
After about 4 years I also noticed gum oozing out of the bark and decided that this almond was obviously not happy and that I would have to remove it with pain in my heart, but I do not have space for an almond which just flowers.
Last spring I was away for a few weeks and on return spotted a difference in the contours of the almond tree. On inspection I found it full of almonds. Small ones at one side, large ones at the other. So surprised I was, I just stared. And even though there is still a problem with a disease, which I have not managed to relieve yet, the tree has produced a beautiful crop of soft skin and hard skin almonds.
All autumn I have picked some while passing the tree, the delicious fresh almond taste treasured. And now the last ones were picked and shelled in front of the fire. Some will be used for almond milk, some will be part of my favorite desert of plain yogurt, black current juice preserved with coconut sugar, vegan chocolate or carob drops and soaked almonds . Wondrous gifts of nature.