SWEET CAROB




The 'algarrobo' tree is a common site in our Levante landscape. They were cultivated for their harvest of carob beans, once a source of nutrition for a hungry population, later picked, sacked and sold each autumn for animal food. With fewer people working the 'campo' many old trees stand abandoned, unpruned they grow bushy and tall,  still producing carob which fall to the ground unpicked. These are a favourite feast for the wild boar which roam over the hills, down into the village in winter rooting for fallen olives, almonds and carob and destroying farmer's crops. The terraced ground around this old carob tree shows the hoof marks and digging of the boar. 



SWEET CAROB

 

‘Les garrofes’ litter terracotta earth

baked hard before October rains,

gnarled, twisted carobs, 

black as bitter chocolate,

sacked in rough hessian, 

sweet, intoxicating smell 

wafts through tangled streets, 

destined to bear the taste of harvest 

to swine denied freedom whilst

roaming boar snuffle fallen feast. 





© 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved. 


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