Grandma and grandpa on my dad's side took care of her brothers' properties after the brothers emigrated to the US. They had planted different fruit trees, among which were the pomegranates. I can still see the long row of bushes on the way to one brother's house; they had been planted at the edge of the road where there was a drop in the landscape.
They were very eye catching in the spring and summer with their beautiful small leaves and the pomegranates that started as flowers and grew to be fruits. Whenever we were there in the spring, my brothers and I picked the little pomegranates and used them to make pretend pipes. We poked a hole on the side and put a short stick in it, and that was our pipe. Ahhh, children's imagination!
The bushes produced an awful lot of pomegranates. They were a site to see in the fall when they were full of huge red fruits. Sometimes they were so ripe that they split open. We loved those because they were much easier to open. Grandma brought them home in several large wicker baskets. They were a lot more than we could eat, so she and grandpa distributed them to the other siblings.
This was long before they were discovered to have very healthy properties. We ate them in front of the fire usually at night. They made a royal mess squirting juices all over the places, but, bless her heart, mom didn't mind. She simply cleaned up before she went to bed. Sometimes when she had leftover seeds she put them in a bean salad the next day. You had to eat the salad with a spoon of course, but we loved it and it looked so pretty with the brilliant, jewel like red mixed in.
Now Zio Saverio and Zia Antonietta own the property. They went back after many many years and rebuilt the house from scratch. It's a lovely place with a great view of the valley below. Needless to say, the row of pomegranate bushes is not there anymore, but there are several new ones scattered around the property that were trained into trees with lovely shapes.