from the perspective of a first timer

8am – The sun lifted its head out from behind the mountain and the fog slowly cleared from the valley. Dew drops on each little olive sparkled in the morning light. In the trees fourteenth year of existence and only second time being harvested their size was somewhat intimidating. They had a fairly manageable height to them, but their girthy thickness was quite the surprise. Each little nook and cranny contained a precious bundle of gleaming olives eager to fall off, into our buckets then eventually through a press, into a bottle and onto our table.


5pm- After a long day of strategically placing catch cloths under several dozen olive trees we were finally nearing our last trees to be brushed. For those of us lacking experience, there is quite the intimacy involved in brushing an olive tree; From having to stick your entire body under a tree to shimmy the tarp below the long protruding branches, to taking a very tall branch and completely bending it into arms reach. Quickly work turns into a game. The game where you aim your best and predict where your olive bundle will land only to occasionally miss and go picking for olives in the patches of grass. But oh, how can I describe to you the sound!? What a glorious sound! The sound of the “olive fingers” scrapping through the leaves and the sound of the olives plop! plop! plopping! off the stem and tumbling into an empty bucket or helping hand.

With a truck full of six hundred pounds of olives our work was done and it was time for us to fill our bellies with a delicious homemade stew.