WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Green day @ val's Alentejo. linking with Fiona @ Raindrops and Daisies

It's Olive picking time. This is one of my many olive trees.  I have 8 that are within my inner garden on the land. On the other side of the fencing I have hundreds.  In years gone by , it would have been easy to organize labour for the harvesting.  Now no one wants to do it.  For the past two years I have made a deal with a man from the village.  He picks my olives and then he gives me the Olive oil after having been taken to the "lagar" the pressing factory. Last year my trees were laden with olives . It was a good year. This year is not too bad. My olives are organic, I dont spray them with anything at all, as some farmers do. I was promised that they would start picking tomorrow. I do hope so, as they are now falling all over my paths . I am a little tired of sweeping them away.  Crunch crunch when you walk over them. 

                                          Fallen olives ripe and ready for the press. We are having heavy winds and rain at the moment, so they are falling onto the ground..not sure if there will be much left by the time they come to pick them.!
                         I was lucky to get this shot of an egret  .. He moved off as he saw me . They are all over now. Time for "front line" on the dogs.!
                                                        overhanging branches laden with olives
                                              I love to see the new ploughed fields .. This is opposite me. Farmers use the bater system sometimes.  This farmer used it with the owner of the land, who is now very old.  He gets some lamb.. and the owner gives him the field for his sheep. It works.
I use the bater system with my olives.  The man gets the olives and I get my olive oil, and the trees are cleared.  This year he is going to prune them. So next year there will be no olives.  Its all in the joys of farming.
                          Wishing you all a Happy Friday.  Enjoy every moment life is good


  1. How lovely to have all those olive trees and have your own organic oil! My sister is desperate for just one olive tree, if she saw your collection of them she would think she was in heaven! Suzy x

    1. Thank you for your comments Suzy..
      I have entered another way to reply to my commnets..
      Your sister's welcome to come and see all the olive trees.
      thanks for your help.

  2. Dear Val - what a treat to have your own organic olive oil, but I can see that the olives falling on your path take time and energy to keep them under control. Olive trees are part of the mediterranean landscape - wonderful trees. I had a round clipped one in a large terracotta pot for many years, it only yielded one or two olives, but I loved its soft grey/green foliage. We had two severe winters and it sadly died.

    1. Thank you Rosemary,
      I haven't bought olive oil in years. I am not sure if i will get some this year. the trees are now all damaged due to the heavy storms we are having.
      The pickers dont seem to want them.

  3. Hello Val...I do envy your olive trees. Before I sold the farm, I had bought one tree that grows well in Texas. The work collecting the olives, must be very labor intensive, but the rewards are even greater.

    1. Thanks Meggie, gosh I would never have thought olive trees could grow in Texas.
      I dont pick the olives.. I could never do that work.. Its a man's job and they come in and collect the crop. In return i geet my olive oil.

  4. So Val do you have an farm with olives? Can they use them if they hit the ground? Beautiful area. sandie

    1. Hello Sandy,
      Yes.. i live on an olive farm in the middle of the country.
      Olive picking and harvesting is only in November.
      If you pick them up as they fall you can possibly use them.. but my olives are only for olive oil.

  5. i hope they are able to harvest what is left for you. i'm glad you're able to work a barter deal.

    1. doesn't look good Tex.
      we have had heavy rains and wind.. the men cant come in and pick.
      will see what happens this week.!

  6. You are very lucky that you have your own olive trees and your oil !
    And here the people have left the production of olive trees .The new people they don't want τo have touch with the land .... So , the land be abandoned ...If you will prune them ,will you have oil the
    next year ?Your photo are wonderful and the exact issue for this season !

    1. Hello Olympia,
      you could possibly plant a few olive trees on your land! there are varieties now that grow quicker than some and yield fruit in 3 to 5 years.

      Mine too need pruning Olympia.. but it costs so much to do this. I will do a few trees at a time.

  7. Hi Val!

    I have some olive trees in Italy and, to me, there's nothing more beautiful, magical and Mediterranean than those lovely, silvery small leaves, symbol of peace, love and health.

    People who own olive trees and live in the countryside, in Italy, pick or have their olives picked and usually taken to a frantoio, where they "become" oil. City people, on the contrary, have to buy oil in supermarket, which is usually all Italian, and good.

    Supermarket usually stock local produce, as well as produce from other cities and from round the world, so everyone's happy!

    I love my olive trees, my plants, my fig trees and all my lovely cacti. Most of all, I love the sun and I can't hel thinking that my Italy is a country blessed in many ways.

    The Ancient Egyptians considered the sun a God. I agree... we should thank the sun for making our countries so beautiful!

    Do you have all your olive trees pruned at the same time, or do you alternate, so you always have some trees which are producing olives?

    Buona notte!



    1. That is what happens here Anna.. my olives are picked and taken to the "lagar" I usually get my olive oil around march.
      I am sure that you are missing Italy..but now you have your new home, can go there more often.
      I alternate the pruning Ana.
      thanks for leaving your great comments ..you are a friend that understands the lifestyle.

  8. Hi Val,

    Only linking your post up now - sorry
    I meant to do it yesterday but when I came home
    daughter wanted to go shopping and we were not
    back in the houee until late.

    I love your post and your olive trees,
    must be great to have your own olive oil "on tap" as such!
    Lucky you.
    Maybe it is just as well I don't have it
    cos I would be the size of a house!

    Have a lovely weekend.

    I hope that you get some sunshine soon.

    x Fiona

    1. Fiona.. Olive oil is the best thing that you can cook with. Its healthy and has no fat whatsoever.
      Thanks for linking
      Hope you did some good shopping
      sunshine seems a way off yet.. lots of rain and wind

  9. Hallo Val!We have three olive trees,and collect our olives only fot eating them,not for oil!You are very lucky my friend!!Your pictures looks fantastic!Wishing you a lovely weekend!

    1. I have a couple of trees that i used to use the olives for preserves..but i dont do that anymore.. its a lot of work..
      my trees are mainly for oil.
      thank you for your comments Dimi.
      val xx

  10. Good Day Val,

    Here I am, yesterday I couldn't reach all of you.meanwhile..I am so happy to see your olive trees,I knew quite hard picking the olive grain by self.You need to share with somebody who help you.

    very beautiful country side Val... amazing.
    nice photos.

    wishing you a very great weekend

    1. Thank you Ayu..
      I dont pick the olives myself I have hundreds of trees. the men come to pick them
      in exchange for olive oil for us both.

  11. If I lived near you I would pick them for free. I always use olive oil in my cooking and it can be expensive, but worth it for the health benefits.

    1. That is great to hear Willow.. Olive oil is so so healthy. I use it for everything.
      Its expensive because its pure and healthy. Its worth it as you say.

  12. Your olive trees look wonderful. I have read a few books about picking the olives in France and Italy. Do you have nets under your trees? We have a small olive in a pot that reminds us of the Mediterranean. It must be fantastic to have your own oil.
    Sarah x

    1. Hello Sarah.
      Yes..most of us use nets under the trees.. unless you have a very very big concern and use machinery.. the olives are still picked and thrashed off the tree the same way the romans did.
      Its windy and wet .. i hope i will get something out of the crop this year.
      thank you Sarah.

  13. Hello Val, How absolutely wonderful to have your olives pressed and returned as your own organic oil. I would love that! I bet it tastes sensational. Great photos too! xxx

    1. A little late with my reply..
      blogger problem..
      thank you Patricia.. yes its great to have my own olive oil

  14. Val,
    I love your olive trees. I have read about the olive trees, and there is such a special history about them. Everything they produce is good, and I love olives too, especially Greek olives. It is such a joy seeing pictures of your village. You know, I want to one day move to the mountains. I want to see big green trees, deer, and snow! Wouldn't that be nice? The picture of the ploughed field I love, with the blue sky embracing it. Have a happy week. Oh, I liked to hear that you sip your coffee slow. I do the same. We can appreciate it that way, right?
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  15. What a beautiful glimpse into your life. I love the thought of you getting olive oil from your own trees. Such great pictures.

  16. Dear Val,
    Thank you for this very interesting post. From you I have learned so much more about these wonderful trees.
    It must be difficult at times with weather and harvesting problems. Hope you will have a reasonable yield from this crop.
    The industry is fairly new in this country, but seems to be going well.
    It's good to be able to buy local oil in the supermarket alongside the popular imported brands.
    It's great to see glimpses of your place. Looks wonderful!
    Thanks for your comments on my blog. Always appreciated.

    1. Each product has its time for harvesting. Olives are always in november to early dec.
      Not so good a crop this year Betty.
      Amazed that olives grow in Australia..wow..

  17. Libię patrzeć na drzewa oliwek, gdy jestem w kraju, gdzie one rosną. Bardzo stare drzewa mają niesamowite kształty. Co innego patrzeć, co innego pracować przy nich. Nie jest to z pewnością łatwa praca. Pozdrawiam.
    Libya olive trees to look at when I'm in a country where they grow. Very old trees have amazing shapes. What else to watch something else to work on them. It is not certainly an easy job. Yours.

  18. You know Val, I was olive picking a couple of times many years ago, back in Greece. Its the most difficult work I have ever done! We started early in the morning and went on until five or six in the afternoon. I remember I slept on my clothes for almost a week (at about eight o'clock!) Honestly I didn't bother to shower ( I know that sounds terrible!) but I was pretty young and sooo tired, and I knew next day I would get dirty again ; D
    Still, I remember those days with love and tenderness. It was hard but I believe very important to know what lies behind a bottle of precious olive oil...

    lots of love to you!

    1. Dearest Demie,
      What a brave girl you were to pick the olives.. I think the picking is done the same way in Greece as it is here.. With big long strong flexible sticks.. they are very precious to the pickers. I know what you mean.. the men here when they work..come in the same clothes for some days. There is a lot that goes into producing good olive oil..
      thanks Demie.


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