The Valensole’s plateau was completely covered with almond trees until 1960. The wheat farming was done under the protection of almond trees which would provide shadow to the farmers and their herd.
Almonds of the Valensole’s plateau were really famous. They were used for the fabrication of the “Calissons d’Aix” a renowned sweet of Aix en Provence. It was only from the sixties that the automatic agriculture intensified in Provence and the almond trees were pulled out of the ground to enable the tractor to work straight within the fields.
When the former owner of “La petite colle” moved out in Mexico, he took care to forbid to his successor to pull out the trees of his land. Thus, the trees we are harvesting no less than 20 different varieties are still the same one as decades ago.
However, the almond tree is the very first tree to bloom, announcing the end of the winter and the beginning of the spring. Therefore, it is a very fragile crop, really sensitive to frost. It can happen to pass a year without harvesting anything.