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Posts tagged ‘Fruit’

Living off the land; moving with the seasons: The Mallorquin Huerta

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to a stunning little Huerta (kitchen garden) clinging to the terraced slopes of the Mallorquin coastline. Between the dry stone walls of terraces made long ago by arab occupiers in their magnificent process of taming the otherwise unreachable landscape, this little vegetable garden lay nestled in perfect order, with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other. From an initial sweep of green emerged vegetables the colour of which you would be hard-pressed to find in even the best quality supermarket.

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Keen to show me the fruits of his labour, the farm manager went about collecting samples of his home-grown produce. As he created a pile of the best of the harvest, the collection before me grew in both voluptuous size and magnificent colour. From super green cucumbers and a richly purple aubergine, to wonderfully fragrant basil, bright yellow peppers and startlingly intense red tomatoes, this gathering of produce was worthy of a museum piece, rather than a humble feast.

And yet feast we did, sampling flavours the likes of which I have never had the pleasure to enjoy before. The tomatoes were so sweet, and so complex in their flavour contrasts, that the sweet sticky small tomatoes might have been an altogether different fruit from the large meaty giant tomatoes which I could have feasted on forever.

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But behind the intensity of the flavour and the quality of the produce was the rationale which went with it. These vegetables were grown in alignment with the seasons. They tasted so good because they emerged from land grown traditionally, with no additives, at the time of the year when they are meant to be harvested. No tomato, artificially grown under a lamp light in the winter could ever have tasted this good. And what struck me most of all was the pride glowing from within the farm manager. Because he had presented the very best product from his intensely laboured land – the fruit of his work, with a little help from the perfect timing of mother nature’s seasons.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

A weekend in Fornalutx (Part 2): Cemetery and Citrus Trees

The area of Soller is famous for its citrus groves. It must be something to do with the lush fertile slopes of the vast mountain scenery which allows this area to become punctuated by lemons and oranges, and the result is not only a vast bounty of citrus based products made in the region every year, but a landscape which is made stunning by the perfume of orange and lemon blossom and by a palette of yellow and orange fruit. The little nearby village of Fornalutx is no exception in the citrus stakes, and if there was one aspect of the little mountainous haven that I adored above all others, it was the orange trees which were so bounteous in the surrounding landscapes, and whose blossom filled the air with its exquisite spring perfume.

The stunning citrus scenery surrounding Fornalutx

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It was on a walk amongst the orange groves on the afternoon of our arrival in Fornalutx that my partner and I discovered what has to be my second favourite aspect of the town: a tiny cemetery set atop an outermost hill of the city, overlooking its sea of terracotta roofs and surrounding mountainous landscape. Of all the places that could be a person’s final resting place, this must surely be one of the best. Perfectly appointed, beautifully symmetrical with a central chapel flanked by two robust cyprus trees, and with decorative gravestones surrounded by palms and colourful flowers, this place of rest made for a super-tranquil utterly beautiful place of contemplation even for us living.

The tiny cemetery of Fornalutx

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.