Last year’s haul of 226 litres of extra virgin oil from our Valero trees, probably won’t be matched this year as the chilly Spring has reduced the harvest. The Blanqueta trees however are laden. We have a party coming on November 2nd to help in the gathering. ‘Milking’ an olive tree very therapeutic – just taking your hands down a branch and letting the olives fall onto the ‘manta’ below. Old-fashioned thrashing is therapeutic too, but in a different way. You have to be careful not to damage the tree overly. After gathering, the trick is to get the olives as quickly as possible to the press lower down the valley. We sold most of last year’s surplus to a restaurant. I suspect there’ll be enough for just us this year.

We had our eighty trees pruned earlier this year – ‘so a swallow can fly ‘atween the branches’.