Plum Orchards : Pruneaux d’Agen

Under the first sun of April, the orchards bloom. Bees collect their flower nectar and pollination concieves the fruit called ‘Prunier d’ ente ( grafted prune ).

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A little history.

Originally grafted to a local plum by monks in the 12th century, the fruit from Syria proved perfectly adapted to the climate and much appreciated for it’s sweet, juicy taste and it’s nutritional and medicinal properties.  It dried well and was quickly established in gardens throughout the south west of France to be conserved for winter. Over time orchards  developed and it became an agricultured product. By the 17th century most of the dried  prunes grown were exported to England.

Agen was a convenient river port that was able to transport the dried prunes to Bordeaux where they were loaded onto ships and through to the 19th century the ‘ Pruneaux d’ Agen’ as they were then called became famous worldwide.

Orchards in bloom everywhere I turn, testify that the agriculture of the Pruneaux d’Agen is alive and thriving.

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A goblet of sweet nectar

the plum tree is pruned

for the birds and the bees

the plump fruit of summer.

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