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Olive Plantation November 17, 2012

Posted by anagasto in photography, Spain.
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It is summer. The ground has been cleared of weeds.

The olives will be harvested much later : in late fall, when they are still green, or around Christmas, when they are a violet-black.

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olivar 11

Every tree yields only about 3 liters of olive oil per year, that is about 2 pints, but in the past this was life-sustaining, and so it  treated with great care and surrounded by legends and superstition.

In Spanish the fruit is called aceituna, and this word sounds so strangely musical because it has come all the way from the time when Spain was partly Arab.
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You can’t eat olives off the tree. They are  bitter, but once they have been fermented in a salt solution,  they are great on their own as a snack or added to a salad or a sandwich. They also go well with stews, white rice, or mixed with cream cheese.

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The ground has been bleached by the sun, though in the foreground among the thistles there is a poppy still. — There are some clouds up there sitting still. The sky is otherwise crystal clear.

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genista

Genista bending under the load of its flowers. Brooms used to be made of its branches. Genista is called broom in English, but that is not a nice name.

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This is land where little else grows, and there are miles and miles of it because water is scarce. In spring it is green and exuberant with flowers, but in summer it is the colour of sand .

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In spring there are flowers everywhere, on unfinished roads, all around the parking lot, along the highways, sometimes in the company of  thistles more than 6 ft tall.

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December is harvest time:

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Ugly weather, bad roads, traffic jams on the highways.

To gather the olives is hard work and poorly paid.

( Isn’t hard work always poorly paid ? ? ? )

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And sometimes, but rarely, olive trees get snow. I don’t think they like it much:

These are near Aranjuez from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/799439

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Comments»

1. Almudena_zr - July 25, 2010

This is inspirational – your photographs are superb.

2. lollipop - July 25, 2010

Seriously wonderful pictures. I don’t like olives, but those pictures make me want to try…


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