Saturday, December 6, 2008

Olive harvest

We harvested our olives today - and were blessed with good weather. Normally it's raining and cold and your hands get raw and's just not alot of fun! Last year we changed clothes 3 times because we got so drenched and soaked and chilled through..... I have to admit that this year we also changed clothes three times -but were taking off layers - so that made a refreshing change! The sun was shining, it was warm...and a perfect day for olive picking.

It's a well known fact that friends only help you pick olives once. Now grapes, everyone wants to come back year after year - but olives are hard work. Especially ours. The previous owners of our house never picked the olives but let the trees grow tall so now most of the olives are out of reach, even with ladders. Well we had one friend help us this year - Laura. Thanks Laura - you did a great job. Her favorite was using the rake. As the weather was nice, maybe you'll come again?????? Here's Laura scrambling in the large olive...but small tree....This year one tree made all the difference to us. Most of our olives are the tiny olives - we have about 10 trees of these. They are the old trees that were planted years ago and are tall. Since we've moved here, we've planted some large olive varietal trees - and kept them shorter. One of these just had soooooo many olives on it this year - it was just great. It was the a joy to pick. Here's John up the ladder ...
My parents bought us a tree a few years ago - with large olives - but this year it only had 10 olives on it. At least it was some.....but olive trees tend to bear fruit one year, then take a year off, so it was its year off this year - so 10 was better than none!

As always happens, we finish picking and there are still loads of olives left on the tree. We just can't get to them all. This year, we picked for about 4 hours. It's tough work - especially on the arms but also on my toes. I find when I'm up a ladder all the time that my toes are trying to curl under to hold on....I tell my self, just relax your toes - but they won't. I think they are scared and so try their best to hold on to the step, even though inside the shoes it really makes no difference. So tonight or tomorrow, I'll probably have cramp in my toes for keeping them curled up for so long!

Anyhow - we picked 97 lbs today! Not bad heh? Last year we picked 75 lbs. We'll take them down to the olive press in the village tomorrow and then pick up our wonderful oil later in the week.
I'll let you know how much we get and how it tastes - but normally, it's enough to last us the year - and it tastes wonderful -especially because you know it's yours!!


Spotted Sparrow said...

Oooh, I am insanely jealous right now. No fresh olive oil in Germany, sadly even with Italy so close by. Enjoy yours!

Ruth said...

I know - it is such a joy!