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The world’s oldest clove tree…

September 22, 2012

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.

Read full article on the BBC…

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 23, 2012 10:08:10 am

    What a wonderful story of nature surviving mans enslaughts! I didn’t know much about the spice wars but it would seem that nefarious price hiking isn’t a new thing! I love the idea of an ancient clove tree hiding away in the forests protected against the marauders and giving new life to the industry elsewhere to break the monopoly. Much like many ancient things (humans included) its now neglected and most certainly doesn’t get the degree of respect that it deserves. Cheers for this lovely story of nature surviving against the odds 🙂 its my “learn one thing a day” for today 🙂

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