Training vines

March 25, 2018

  Spring is here, and the vines are sprouting all over the island. In the south of the island, particularly in Fuencaliente, it’s dry. In a hot summer day, the wind sometmies feels almost like a hairdryer. This could turn the grapes to raisins before you harvest them, so the vines are trained low to the ground to keep them out of the wind. They’re usually planeted in hollows, or…

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Mulberries

July 22, 2016

Mulberries were originally introduced to the greener parts of La Palma to feed silkworms for silk production. The fruit is a delicious side-effect. Sadly, you rarely see it on sale, because it’s fragile and doesn’t keep. It’s also a strong, natural dye (and is used as such). If you pick your own, expect stained fingers and watch your clothes. In fact, if you’re staying near a mulberry tree in fruit, don’t…

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Growing Bananas on La Palma

July 28, 2015

  When I first came to La Palma in 1990, around 40% of the population depended on the banana trade: growing bananas, packing them, or driving them. But even with the EU subsidy, it’s hard to make a living from bananas. If you’re unlucky with the weather, you can work hard all year and still make a loss. So the economy is diversifying, and a good thing too. But bananas…

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San Antonio del Monte 2013

This weekend will see the biggest livestock fair on the island, in Garafía. San Antonio del Monte used to be a village, but the villagers moved away. About the only thing that’s left is the church of St. Anthony and the feast day, with it’s massive fair. Apart from the animals, there’s a craft fair, and of course lots of stalls selling cheap toys, food and drink. It’s a pretty…

June 13, 2013
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