At the end of October, for the last 10 years, I am doing olive harvest. It is not hard thing to do, but it takes time to do it. So, for at least 10 days, there is no crafting, reading or travelling, only olives...
We are not important olive oil producers, we are doing it for hobby and to be honest to make my father in law happy. He is 84 years old, almost all his life, he worked as peasant and little wine producer and loved doing what he did. He use to work as cook in different restaurants and hotels during the fifties, but hated living in city and far from his family. He abandoned vineyard in 1992 and after that he use to go every morning to feed numerous cats that live around his little farm house out of Olevano Romano (that's the name of the place where my husband was born, about 60 km from Rome), plant some vegetables or pick some peaches, pears, figs... As he was becoming older, even if he had so much will to do everything, we were trying to convince him that he simply couldn't do it any more. Last year was the first year that we were harvesting without him and this year, after pruning olive trees he had a stroke. Fortunately, he is doing fine, but cats are not coming any more knowing that he is not coming.
I don't know what my father in law thought when he saw me for the first time. Probably that I am city girl, who never saw an olive tree in her life. I can't blame him, for him I was always a foreigner, I don't speak his dialect, so it was so natural for him to tell me that olives were not good to be eaten row. If only you could have seen his smiling face, so pleased with himself that he had saved me from ugly surprise, just in case that I had been stupid enough to taste an olive. And I was surprise thinking, how stupid he thought I was, I mean, in Croatia, we have olive trees, too. It is not some exotic tree. For years he insisted to be present and "help" us but to be true we did it much faster without him.
Here are some pictures, where you can see the plastic net that is placed under trees and how we "comb" olive trees.
This year we have made 72 kg of olive oil (about 82 liter) and this is how it looks like in olive-press:
Olives separated from leaves and washed ready for the press:
Now, back to my crafts...