Posted by: glue | July 2, 2009

The Orchard

An olive orchard in bloom is for me a dialectical image, meaning that past and present converge in this scene.  It records an event (May, 1966), a memory, a site, that through its persistence and attraction has become a measure, a chora filter of time.  My understanding of prudence is indexed here.  Chora generates emergent categories, based on aesthetic coherence:  the unit of measure is some feature within the scene whose properties inventory the organizing mood.
Measure

Measure

The fragrant flowers of olive trees are small and creamy white, hidden within the thick leaves. Some cultivars will self pollinate, but others will not. The blossoms usually begin appearing in April and can continue for many months. A wild, seedling olive tree normally begins to flower and produce fruit at the age of 8 years. The fruit of the olive tree is a purplish-black when completely ripe, but a few cultivars are green when ripe and some olives turn a color of copper-brown. The size of the olive fruit is variable, even on the same tree, and the shape ranges from round to oval with pointed ends. Some olives can be eaten fresh after sun-drying and the taste is sweet, but most olive cultivars are bitter and must be treated by various chemical solutions before developing into edible olives. If the olives are thinned on the limbs of the trees to 2 or 3 per twig, the ultimate size of the olives will be much larger. The fruit is gathered in mid October and should be processed as soon as possible to prevent fermentation and a decline in quality.

The leaves of olive trees are gray-green and are replaced at 2-3 year intervals during the spring after new growth appears. Pruning yearly and severely is very important to insure continued production. The trees have the unproductive limbs removed, “so that it will be more fruitful” John 15:2. An olive tree can grow to 50 feet with a limb spread of 30 feet, but most growers will keep the tree pruned to 20 feet to assure maximum production. New sprouts and trees will emerge from the olive tree stump roots, even if the trees are cut down. Some olive trees are believed to be over a thousand years old, and most will live to the ripe old age of 500 years.

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