2014 has been a year of firsts – so on this first day of 2015, I would like to write about the best experience we had in 2014. Of course every time we got to travel to Matarranya was very special, coming “home” to the view of the Els Sports mountains was amazing time and time again, finding all kinds of different vegetation & animal traces on our finca was more than interesting and we had a lot of fun with the almond harvest… but the best thing was the olive harvest. It was our first time, and we learned so much from it!
First of all, our olives are Empeltre olives. They can be used both for eating and pressing olive oil from it; most people around here leave them hanging until they’re nicely ripe and black. There is a right time for harvesting them; most presses in the neighbourhood belong to a “cooperativa” (members can go and sell their olives there, or bring them in exchange for the oil, or sometimes a combination of both). The cooperativa have a date for bringing the olives in; this year we could bring them starting December 9th, which was just after a long weekend here in Spain.
Axel set to work with 2 friends. On the first morning, they went to buy nets and sticks from the cooperativa in Cretas, and borrowed big crates to put the olives in. To collect the olives, you have to hit the branches / the olives with the sticks, so they fall on the ground into the nets; afterwards you gather all the olives into the crates (while leaving out the bigger branches). We have about 45 trees on our land, which took the 3 men one day and a half of work. At the end of the second day, they went with all the crates to Manolito, here in the village of Lledo – and the next day, we were able to go and pick up 4 barrels of olive oil.
Here are some pictures of the olive oil pressing. I already posted some of them on our Facebook page some time ago.