There are no two ways about it – this year’s olive harvest has been by far our worst since we’ve been here. I think the main problem is the rain that we have had. It must have knocked most of the olives off. Also, although many of our neighbours are still harvesting now, I can’t help but think that we have been too late and should have picked them weeks ago. Alas, this wasn’t possible as I was in the UK.
Anyway, earlier this week, we took advantage of some dry weather and picked what we had. It took us just as long as usual, as we did the same amount of trees – they just had fewer olives on them. After three days we only had just over three barrels (about 80kgs) to show for our hard work. This was about half of what we got last year which in itself wasn’t a great year. More bad news was to come when I went to the lagar (cooperative olive press). If you have a ‘normal’ amount you can see your olives through the press and out the other side as oil. However for small amounts it is not worth their while to do it separately, so they just weigh what you’ve got and give you an equivalent amount of their own oil. So, I knew I would have to swap it but when the bloke only offered me six litres, it was disappointing to say the least. I bought another four litres from them and as we still have plenty from last year, that should see us through the year.
One harvest which should be better is the oranges. There are plenty of them and they are already turning orange. No shortage of marmalade then.
Meanwhile with all the rain and a bit of sun, the grass has shot up – yes, it’s time to fire up the strimmer again. Because of last year’s drought, I think I only cut the grass once last Autumn. With more rain this year I think I am going to be very busy. Betty was disappearing in the long grass but now it’s done it looks great. Just as well I did it today as there is more rain forecast this weekend.
There has also been better news with the big hairy one. She was really ill just a week or so ago and even had to stay overnight at the vets attached to a drip. However, she has made an amazing recovery and here she is to prove it.
Of course Betty is still up to her usual tricks – she often disappears for hours on her own but also likes nothing better than her regular walk on the lead!
… and the hens are also fine. We have now put them in the pig field and they are enjoying the fresh grass.