Sunday, 20 May 2012

An Apple a Day

Hey Merill fans,

A proud young farmer happy about his ripening apples
After Thursday's local TV episode of "Ilsien in-Nisa" featuring Merill Eco Tours, we are very happy with all the positive comments received by email and on our Facebook fan page. This gave us fuel to keep working hard to bring about the best agri and eco experiences for locals and tourists all year round.

The grey and windy weekend in Malta did not discourage people from going out to enjoy the countryside.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit some fields in Mosta where John Gauci, is cultivating some delicious fruits and vegetables. Onions, courgettes, olives and pomegranates are grown with great care, making sure good farming practices are followed.

John, is a 19 year-old young farmer who is still pursuing his studies. The fields he's taking care of are located in an area where rural structures with impressive architecture are found. Unfortunately most of these are crumbling down and are in need restoration urgently. Urban sprawl and the continuous struggle with the Planning Authority are the major set backs of farmers in the area. 

Nonetheless, John is not discouraged and with a lot of hard work and continuous encouragement from his family, he keeps on doing his best to improve the land. During the visit he showed me around and at one point in time he directed our attention towards a small tree sheltered by reeds. It was the indigenous apple tree variety of Malta known as Ta' Belludja. It reminded me of a University assignment I prepared some years back which dealt about this particular tree. I remember my disappointment when at the time I discovered how much little literature was available on the subject. The picture above shows John and the apples, ripening nicely in time for the summer months ahead.

I was really fascinated about the history behind this variety. Will keep you all posted about the ripening apples. Rest assured that I will be one of the first to taste them :)


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