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The Art of Grafting

I am continually amazed about the cleverness and competence of Mallorcan farmers. Agriculture on the island may be on a historic low and in continuous decline but, the few pagesos still around and active can outwit any old stockbroker or computer whiz kid any time.

Take the fine art of grafting as an example. There would be no olive oil in Mallorca, or anywhere else for that matter, if olive trees would not have been cultivated by the art of grafting, at some time in their existence. Or wine. Or tomatoes. Or potatoes. Vines have to be grafted according to the variety wished for, just as fruit trees have to be grafted if a particular species of fruit is wanted, like in the photo here. In Mallorca, it is not uncommon to graft plums or peaches on to an almond tree. The almond tree is particularly prone to act as a mother host for any variety of fruit and sometimes you can find three different fruit varieties on one single almond tree. As long as you know what you are doing, of course.

February is the best time for vine grafting. For tree fruit, March and April are the perfect grafting season.

The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 6th, 2012. The time was 17:30:18.

2 replies »

  1. I was aware that fruit trees and vines can be grafted, but potatoes and tomatoes? To my knowledge, these are grown from seed potatoes and tomato seeds respectively, but maybe not in Mallorca?

    • thanks tim. of course potatoes and tomatoes are grown from tubers or seeds, and here in mallorca just the same. but here as everywhere else they are grafted when necessary to introduce a healthier variant onto the plant rootstock, to combat disease or to cross varieties. i’m not sure where the mallorcan farmers learned that skill; i just think they are very clever. check on youtube for grafting tomatoes or potatoes or even grafting tomatoes onto potato rootstock.

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