This beautiful evergreen tree grows all over and we have 42 at present and have plans for planting more. In the early days I wrote a little about the virtues of the Carob, Latin name Ceratonia the name of this project. Recently we have been harvesting her wonderful beans, known as the alfarroba, worth a great deal of money at certain times of the year.
It is good spending much time in amongst the trees, getting some shade too when the heat has risen. Climbing the trees is one of my very favourite things to do! The whole pod is used, the sweet pulp can be made into a flour, roasted and ground. The Algarve is famous for its delicious carob cake that also is made with almonds and figs. Can be made into a syrup or fermented.
The Carob is also used for its very high gum content found in the seeds, recently there have been talks on transforming this into a fuel. Making this wonerful bean into chocolate is something that I have known since childhood and look forward to seeing if we can do this too! Contains loads of calcium and no caffeine, but is sweet without the problems of refined sugar.
This tree has been known as the famine food due to the way this tree can live in very hard conditions and gives a lot of nourishment.
This year most of what we have harvested is to sell to a local cooperative, we will have some fun in the kitchen with a small amount and the rest we are adding to our compost, as some trees have very old pods in amongst the fresh. In the next couple of years we will start to make medicines, such as a Ceratonia Tonic which will be especially good for the brain and musculo skeletal system due to the high mineral content including masses of magnesium.
Lucie and Imani have been helping with the harvest of this fine bean, Imani who has been teething finally found after a little bit of time that the pods were pretty good to chew on!
As we finish the harvest it is wonderful to see all the flowers and tiny little beans forming and starting the cycle again.