Right in front of our house is a plum orchard, and during January we often heard the tractor spraying insecticide on the plum trees.
At six in the morning...
Walking past the orchard and seeing the fruit ripening daily is special, and when in early February groups of workers started harvesting (in a similar way to harvesting peaches), we went to take a look.
The trees are literally covered in purple.
Teams of plum pickers.
Filling up the crates.
The boys got a ride.
Bags ready for the next day.
It was lots of fun going through the orchard after the harvest and picking all the plums they missed.
In middle March, another big harvest began - figs. We went to take a look at how they pick and pack figs at a neighboring farm (for exporting overseas), and the farmer arranged to give us some of his rejects for our piglets. Export quality fig rejects, we discovered, mostly have only a few odd marks, and maybe a tiny crack here and there.
The fig orchard.
Hand picking - note the gloves.
The perfect fig.
They really have to search for the figs.
In the packinghouse.
Weighing the figs (they have to follow a strict weight limit - the figs are flown overseas and they are only allowed a certain weight on the plane).
A whole heap of figs.
After a few days the piglets' legs were permanently purple.
I made fig jam, and we also dried a lot of figs. It turned out really delicious.