Summer heat brought our harvest forward – quite a few trees seems to be having a rest so the harvest a little below expected. 264 kilos were gathered with the customary mix of roughly Manzanillas 80% and Blanqueta 20% producing 65 litres of Extra virgin organic olive oil from Jordi’s press in the campo. No happy gatherers from abroad this year – but the home crew enjoyed a sunny October day harvesting and an enjoyable lunch. Thanks to Tineke, Chris, Remé and Sol for all their help. The oil is tangy, full of flavour and delicious on morning toast with a rose window of Alicante tomato.

The trees now ready for a prune with hopes for a better harvest next year.

After the storms and cold of January, Spring very much underway here. Today stocked up on oranges and mandarins from our Valero grove. The January rain has brought the oranges on nicely – now need to organise clearing the dense wild flowers (some say weeds) from the orchards.

Beautiful balmy day – sunbathed for an hour after lunch.

We gathered  little later than usual this year – about half the trees were producing following the odd weather – but we harvested sufficient for 72 litres of extra virgin – a 80/20 mix of Manzanilla and Blanqueta olives. The oil smooth, tasty and easily enough for us and our friends this coming year.

We were ably helped in the field by visitors from England, Jane Sergeant, Joan Scot, Jonathan David Simons, Mary Costello, Tim Edwards, Jackie Story – and from New York, Rabab Fayad and Michael Kaftner.  We enjoyed tasting some other local oils. In making the judgement, ignore the colour or clarity of the oil (both irrelevant) but savour the taste and gentle sensation at the back of the throat you experience from a good extra virgin oil.  One oil we sampled was from the  ‘Señorios de Relleu’  (https://www.senoriosderelleu.com/) whose groves are spread around Masía de Teuladi on the opposite side of the ravine from us. They have been winning some international awards for the quality of their oil recently so we are in good company. So a reasonable  harvest – but we hope for 100 litres plus next year. We gained 200 litres plus in past years.

As with every year we are inviting you to join us in gathering olives from our Valero Grove, November 8th -11th this time joined by Ed Pemberton and Giselle Leah Benrimoj of ‘The Strawberry Tree’ specialists in Spanish tapas and cuisine,
(https://www.facebook.com/StrawberryTrees/)
who will run our kitchen, hold an informal cookery class, organize some olive oil tastings and on Thursday 7th and Monday 11th run two ‘Cook & Dine days’. The olive gathering will demonstrate the traditional ways of gathering olives – not too energetic and definitely therapeutic.
Bookings for the three nights at the Almassera Vella: £445 (Couple) £325 (Single) – all inclusive (Save flight and insurance) to include transport to and from the airport. Early bird Bookings by September 14th £425 and £295 respectively. Extended stays can be arranged. A relaxing gastronomic weekend!
Cook & Dine Days: €65 Thursday 7th and Monday 11th
Let us know if you’d like more details (Christopher@oldolivepress.com)

 

We’ve just had our 80 or so olive trees in the Valero Grove expertly pruned. There is plenty of flower buds so we are hoping for a good harvest this Autumn, say 200 litres plus of Extra Virgin oil. The combination of blanqueta trees and the locally traditional Manzanilla trees produce a very pleasant blend. Last major harvest we sold all our surplus to a local restaurant. The lemons are doing well, and almonds. Oranges could do with some more rain – but are providing us with  plenty of orange juice nonetheless.

November is a month of changes. We still have warm summer days extending into December but mixed with sudden squalls and storms – this year a good deal of rain, much more than normal. One result, a startling display of wild flowers in our Olive grove: mauve Moricandia or Purple cabbage (which is in flower every month of the year — in Spanish ‘Collejón’, White rocket, Fagonia,  Lobularia – in Spanish: Mastuerzo blanca, and yellow Erysimum. The rocket and Moricandia turn whole bancals mauve or white.

Valero – Olive Grove