Now this is a surprise. I have harvested olives.
For only the second time in a decade.
I did it way, way back in the early days when I had this vision of making my own olive oil from our trees. (Bless.)
Utterly failing to acknowledge that when one only has two trees this is going to be a bit of a stretch.
Plus I had no clue what I was doing. I harvested them way too early as I read that it was an autumn chore.
This picture is from 2008.
Turns out it’s a winter one for us. And it needs a good hot summer to really ripen the beasties.
I killed all the other small trees I bought over the years. They just can’t take the cold. Well, they can’t when their branches are so titchy.
I should have noticed, way back in 2007 that the olives we inherited were swathed in a massive amount of straw around their trunks held in by a complicated tube of chicken wire.
I might delve and have a look in the archives. It’s raining hard out there which is really annoying. I’m not finished, dusk is falling…
Rats. I have just realised I didn’t shut the potager gates when I trotted indoors out of the rain.
So give me a sec and I’ll be right back. Too many deer are about.
Okay. Turns out I have had three harvests these past seventeen years.
2007. 2008 and now 2023.
We are really way too high and cold to have a thriving olive grove.
But thanks to the determination of the farmers before us, two trees have survived.
One in front of the house.
And one on the terrace below the house.
Boy does it need a prune.
At least it has grown a lot since I snapped this shot way back in 2007.
See the mulch around the trunk and the wire. Took me ages to undo that complicated wire fest.
In fact I only have a thriving and pruned tree in front of the main house because the heavy snowfall from two autumns back ripped off a few main branches of the tree.
I thought it might be a goner. But no.
The new growth really did sprout from the main trunk.
I have seen that on the poor giant trees shoved in pots and for sale outside garden centres round here.
I always want to save them. But never have the few hundred euros to spare. Not to mention a giant truck to transport them back.
Our lovely neighbour Agnès spotted how well the trees were fruiting when she was making the wall in front of the olive this year.
And she is the one who will transform them for us.
I don’t have enough to make olive oil. Just under four kilos.
But the thought of munching on our own olives at aperitif hour in about three months time…