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,
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 (


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

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’.