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Almond Blossoms on La Palma2 February 2015
Embracing Spring in the Middle of Winter
Away from the coastal region, sometimes in winter it can get quite chilly on La Palma.
Especially at higher elevations in the north when it reaches temperatures of about 9 to 12 degrees, there is nothing more pleasant than the cuddly warmth of a wooden stove. By daylight you have quickly forgotten about that. Instead of the winter grey a pink-white blossom magic is waiting to be discovered, as from mid of January until February countless almond trees adorn the mid-elevation landscapes of the island.
There is a particularly large number of „almendros“ in the communities El Paso, Tijarafe, Puntagorda and Garafía.
It is up to the visitor to take in that feast for the eyes and the picturesque landscape while hiking, biking, sitting on the back of a horse or being en route with a rental car.
The mild spring-like temperatures particularly invite for a walk or hike, where the lovely fragrance can be inhaled. Apart from the beauty of the blossoms there is a good chance to observe bees, butterflies and birds.
For centuries the trees of the rose family (Rosaceae) have been cultivated on fields and terraces in the north-west of the island.
The harvest time of the almond fruits depends on the type of almond as well as on the area of cultivation and takes place between August and October. This procedure is still done by hand-pole beating the fruits dropping into nets spread out on the ground.
Almonds are a popular snack and a tasty ingredient of many traditional recipes like almond cheese, -cream or pastry like the “almendrados”.
Moreover, the shells are used to smoke goat cheese. The wood is an excellent fuel for the fire and the trees protect the soil from erosion.
Depending on the florescence each year around the end of January/beginning of February the Almond Blossom Festival “Fiesta del Almendro en Flor” in Puntagorda is celebrated.