Like rats and ridiculous burgers in London, you’re never far away from an olive tree In Andalucia. For several weeks, the familiar sound of tapping could be heard as workers remove olives from the trees. Some farmers use noisy, vibrating machines to dislodge them. Large black nets are placed underneath to catch the olives.
We’ve heard a farmer could once secure around €1 a kilo, but it’s way under half that nowadays. It looks hard, certainly laborious, work. The olives are bagged up and taken to an almazara (mill) where they are separated from the crud before being weighed and then pressed.
Until we learn more about the process – and perhaps visit a mill ourselves – we’ll leave it at that. We do know that it takes about 4-5kg of olives to produce one litre of oil, and that Spain is the largest producer in the world (44%), followed by Italy (25%).
People seem as busy as ever; clearing their land of leaves and wood, pruning, mending fences (the winds are fierce at the moment) and planting new crops.
Another common sight at this time of year is the burning of olive branches. The photograph below, taken on a rare dull day, was taken just outside Órgiva. As mentioned in a previous post, the smoke from these fires can linger all day.
The fabulous Notes on a Spanish Valley blog regularly posts about living in the countryside and have much more ‘hands on’ experience of trees and plants, spring water and nature generally. The recipes are mouthwatering too.
© con jamon spain