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PostOlive Harvest Report (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 12/14/17 4:05 am)
John E asked about this year's olive harvest. Happily, it has been especially good, with plenty of olives not touched by pests.
We have not yet finished, as we have 100 trees and the harvest is done only by my wife and me. We are not very young, so probably we will not manage to pick all the olives.
We had a horrible rain that froze on the trees and the ground, together with strong winds. This caused some damage to the trees, one large plum tree was completely destroyed and some olive trees partially damaged. There was heavy damage nearby but we, after everything, were lucky.
JE comments: This year's harvest is great news, Eugenio, especially after the disappointing yield of 2016. Best of luck with the pressing and bottling! Can you send us photos?
What can be more idyllic and timeless than harvesting olives in Italy?
Helping with the Olive Harvest
(Roy Domenico, USA
12/15/17 2:49 AM)
Some WAISers may recall that, during my visit to Eugenio Battaglia two years ago, I "helped" him with the olives. Maybe I should say that Eugenio generously let me "help" him. I came away with the distinct impression that one needs a sturdy pair of legs for this. It's rough terrain and pretty steep that the harvester must go up and down and across.
I was reminded of our honeymoon--30 years ago almost--on the lovely island of Idra (or Hydra) in Greece. Outside of the town there really aren't any roads on the island--cars were banned (at least then) and the only way on land between the main town and a tiny fishing village down the coast was a footpath that hugged the side of the hill and was dotted with olive trees clinging to the cliffs. My bride and I went for a jog along the path until we met up with a mama goat and her kids. They were trying to get one of the little ones back up onto the path--it had fallen off into a small ditch. But the mama made it perfectly clear to us--"turn around--you're not going any farther." We happily complied.
JE comments: Yesterday, when I waxed rhetorically on the timelessness of the Italian olive harvest, David Duggan replied that Greece gives Italy a run for its money. I would have to surrender my Hispanist card if I didn't include a plug for Spain, although the Greeks and Phoenicians were responsible for introducing olives to the Iberian peninsula.