Black Gold

Our precious olive crop is bursting to be harvested. A huge, ancient double-trunked tree is the central exhibit in our shared garden and is dripping with heavy fruit like black baubles on a Christmas Fir. Olives have been dropping haphazardly for weeks, exploding over the patio and staining the paths. Our neighbours, Beril and Vadim have been collecting the debris, presumably for preparation and processing. I looked up the method online. It seems like a right faff to me. Our olives come in handy little jars from the supermarket. I intend to keep it that way.

A second olive tree from a neighbouring house overhangs our single storey kitchen. We were rudely awoken this morning by a heavy, thick-set covered lady in clashing florals and crocheted twinset (no pearls) who had climbed on top of the kitchen roof to beat the bounty out of the heavily laden tree. Olives rained down and danced around the tiles for a couple of hours. She went at it with great gusto, grunting like an East German shot putter until the entire crop had surrendered to her considerable force. I won’t be messing with her.

16 thoughts on “Black Gold

  1. I wouldn’t like to have been one of those olives! But I do envy you…I just adore olives, especially the big juicy kind (pardon me if that sounds rude…) But then again, mango season (two crops a year) is not too far away, and we have five mango trees of various types. So we shouldn’t complain. Be careful with that neighbor of yours though…give her a wide berth…


  2. Knew a man once in Arizona who processed great vats of olives…sadly I don’t eat them anymore because of the salt content. Then there’s your audacious lady who uses your kitchen roof to harvest her black gems…yes definitely steer clear…well unless maybe she wears the pearls 😉


  3. It’s always the women who perform these wonder a lot of them are built like shot putters. We had quite a good crop this season, but I insisted that my delicate hands were not up to the task. So Mr A, gathered, soaked, re-soaked, etc, and took a quantity to the village pressing factory which resulted in 7 litres of extra virgin oil. I have him well trained.


  4. Last year we harvested our own from the garden and prepared them ourselves (well Sukru dd). Saved a fortune on breakfast olives. But this year we let our neighbours harvest them to take to the factory for oil – As you say, “a right faff” but actually, I missed it this year!


  5. We have three young wild olive trees in our garden – at least, they used to be wild until one of our helpful and thoughtful neighbours turned up one day, pruned them back to about three branches each and grafted ‘proper’ olive twigs on. Still waiting for them to crop – but like you we prefer the done-and-dusted variety from the shop!


  6. I wouldn´t mind battering the hell out of the olives to harvest them from the tree but to the horror and disbelief of my hubby and lassie I can´t stand them! Eating an olive is like chewing on a small piece of Harris tweed. Weird texture. The day I enjoy olives I will be completely Spanish, they tell me. That might have something to do with my aversion …..


  7. Ha ha, no you don’t want to be messing with those ladies. They’re a formidable sight aren’t they? When I read you’d looked up the olive preparation online, I thought you were going to show us how you’d done it. We buy ours too. 🙂


  8. Jack,

    I read this image-laden post whilst flat on my back with the flu a few days ago (on my tiny iphone) and the sentence “dripping with heavy fruit like black baubles on a Christmas Fir” has stuck with me. I love this image. And I swear the image of the salvar-wearing teyze spun its way into my feverish dreams as well. More of all of this imagery from you, please!



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