The olive season around here is more of less over. Most of our neighbours gathered their olives but it was a short picking season. Weeks instead of months.
Some trees had olives, others right next to them had none.
Some neighbours thought it wasn't worth the effort this year.
5-6 kilos of olives produced a litre of oil. That's about average
Picking in the paddock next door, playground of wild goats. Even though the trees have been left to the elements and had their lower branches stripped by the goats they still produce olives most years.
The land is owned by a family in Athens who have been trying to sell it for a long time. The olives are picked by relatives on the island and the family takes a small percentage of the oil.
Years ago they were asking 100,000 euros for the land. It's a rough piece, long and narrow and in need of a bulldozer to clean it up.
A fire hazard in summer.
I'm not sure how easy it will be to build on either. Archeological and forestry laws tie up everything here in red tape.
We had a couple of bad storms and if the nets aren't down then they fall to the ground and are the devil to collect.
Years ago the villagers wouldn't leave an olive unpicked from the tree or from the rocky ground underneath. Elderly women would be stooped double hunting out every last olive. Nowadays if it's not in the nets then forget it.
Choosing the best olives for preserving.
These are my girls, all family.
They harvested the tree in the garden, not for oil but for the olives.
Collecting goodies for Grandpa 😄
K asked them to pick out a bag of black olives for him to salt. Every black olive is bashed with a hammer and then left in salt for a few days. You need to be a traditional Greek to enjoy these strong tasting wrinkly olives.
The green ones are soaked in water for a week to get rid of the bitterness, then preserved in oil and vinegar. They're more to my taste.
Then it's pruning time.
Vaso and her family are out everyday cutting the olive trees down to size
Here is Vaso with her trusty shears (secateurs), bent over, snipping and cleaning the twigs from fallen branches. She is happy still, at 85, to be able to help.
Her son with his chainsaw trims the trees . Vaso gets the bigger branches ready for firewood and her daughter drags any other branches into a pile for burning.
Soon the neighbourhood will be smokey from bonfires of these prunings. They have to be burnt as soon as possible. If they're left they attract insects which are detrimental to the tree and next year's harvest .
A few months ago we secured 2 x 17 litre tins of last year's oil before the price went up.
I don't how much it is going for now but it has more than doubled in price.