The Olive Season by Carol Drinkwater4★
Combine the following ingredients:
—a Polynesian-like wedding in Aitutaki
—the birds and the bees and a life beginning
—a walk on the red carpet at Cannes
—a dinner party on the Côte d’Azur
—the Russian mafia
—a life ending
—chèvre sprinkled with nuts on a warm baguette
—fruit and more fruit
—an eclipse of the sun
—gourmet handmade marshmallows (surely only in France)
—a water diviner who only drinks champagne
—olives and more olives
And you have actress/writer Carol Drinkwater’s reflections on life at a formerly abandoned olive farm in the south of France.
If my dreams came true I would be there now drinking wine and eating olives and cheese while the bees hum and make honey just for me. But since I live in reality, I vicariously do so from the comfort of my home (sans the challenges the author faced) by using my imagination and inspiration derived from her enchanting real life tale in passages like these:
“The sky, the light, the land are a delicate chromatic tapestry; the chalky earth is as pale as faded butter or goat’s cheese, the sloping fields are a deep, inviting amethyst and the cloudless blue sky seems almost in reach. My head out of the window, I inhale the piquantly aromatic herbs, brush plants and trees…What a paradise for bees.”
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Olives are the earliest crop known to be cultivated by humans, having been grown and harvested for at least six thousand years. Several artisanal olive oil companies have sprung up in the area. In local gardens, their familiar gray-green foliage lends an immediate air of classical antiquity. But pressing and curing olives at home has become something of a lost art in this country. For the adventurous foodie with access to productive trees, it can be a richly rewarding pastime.
Nothing gets more discussion among olive growers than when to pick. It can make all the difference as far as yield, organoleptic characteristics, shelf life, and color. Fruit maturation depends among other things on olive variety, temperature, sunlight, and irrigation. A hot fall can cause fruit to ripen quickly, resulting in a narrow window for optimum picking. A cool fall may result in green fruit hanging on the tree well into winter. Some farmers are forced to pick greener fruit than they want to hedge against frost damage or a big storm. Some varietals will ripen faster than others, and olives may mature later in some parts of the orchard than in others.
Do you have an olive tree on your property? But beyond my envy, do you wonder when to pick olives? Harvesting olives at home is done pretty much like commercial olive harvesting. Keep reading to find out when and how to pick olives from the tree. Harvesting olive trees begins in late August through November depending upon the region, variety and desired ripeness. Since olives are picked for both eating and processing into oil, the degree of ripeness matters. All olives start out green and then gradually become rosy and finally black.
Sep 28, Olives are the earliest crop known to be cultivated by humans, having been grown and harvested for at least six thousand years. Originating.
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Let the fall olive harvest begin! Trucks are delivering freshly picked olives to our mill here in northern California. The milling team and I are then crushing them into extra virgin olive oil. Over the next several weeks, our field crews will gather olives from trees planted across some 15, acres in northern California. To tell you more about it, we checked in with one of our ranchers, Brian Mori.
Hundreds of farmers and their families work each year to bring California Ripe Olives from their farms to your table. Our groves range from small 5-acre lots to 1,acre farms. No matter where they come from, each olive is treated with the highest level of care from planting to harvest by some of the finest stewards of the land. California Ripe Olives are one of two varieties: Manzanillo and Sevillano. These two varieties produce different sizes of olives, giving consumers a choice ranging from small to colossal. To see California Ripe Olives in their natural environment, take a trip to California's Central Valley, where trees span the state from North to South.