Two Ibiza farmers’ wives reminisce about their childhoods

February 2nd, 2009 - 6:01 pm Posted in almond, ibiza | Comments (0)

ibiza almond history

Back in the days when almonds were a delicacy

Just a few decades ago, when local people used to live off the land or the sea, they took good care of their trees because back then almonds were a vital source of income. Francisca Mari Ferrer (82) and her friend, Francisca Mari Torres (69), from Sant Vicent can still remember when the almond harvest used to bring in some much needed money – and how the women sed to secretly set a few almonds aside to exchange for a new Sunday dress – without their husbands noticing anything amiss…

“When we were children, there was almost nothing you could earn money with. We worked on our parents’ farms and harvested everything that we could grow in our fields. There were a few sheep and goats as well, but that was it,” explain the two old ladies who are having a lot of fun taking a trip down memory lane for us.

Although the almond trees look delightfully romantic when they blossom in February – as soon as the nuts themselves ripen, harvesting them is backbreaking work. In August, the green outer casing that protect the almonds as they ripen opens up and the nuts slowly start to dry. This was and still is the best time to harvest them. The dried fruits are knocked down from the trees using long sticks and then gathered up off the ground. The same method is still used today. Back when these women were young, the whole family had to pitch in and help. 82 year old Francisca – the youngest of nine children – remembers well how her oldest brother used to curse loudly whenever he caught his younger siblings biting into an almond. He had good reason to be angry: after all, the almonds were a source of income and were not intended to fill the stomachs of hungry harvesters…

You can read the full article here: Back in the days when almonds were a delicacy

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