The world’s oldest clove tree…
From the BBC – 23 June 2012
By Simon Worrall Ternate, Indonesia
Indonesia’s “Spice Islands” produced more nutmeg, mace, pepper and cloves than anywhere else in the world and on the island of Ternate, one particular tree has an extraordinary history.
“Bule, Bule,” shout the children excitedly, as our jeep threads its way up a steep road on the side of the volcano. “White man, White man.”
I am on Ternate, one of Indonesia’s fabled Spice Islands.
The midday call to prayer mingles with the mosquito-whine of motorcycles. Above us, smoke seeps from the side of Gamalama, the pyramid-shaped volcano that dominates the island.
It had erupted only a month earlier, sending a tongue of molten lava pouring down the mountain into the sea. This part of the world is not called “The Ring of Fire” for nothing.
I am searching for the world’s oldest clove tree. Why it is called Afo, no one knows. Neither is it exactly certain when Afo was planted. But estimates suggest it is between 350 and 400 years old.