03 Aug Homemade olives
Today we want to share an inspiring story about how love for a product inspires you to feats.
There are quite a lot of private olive producers in Spain. Our mothers taught us to make pickles from mushrooms and cucumbers, and in this country many people are trying to grow olives and prepare them for their family. And this is much more difficult than cucumbers from a greenhouse.
This kind of cultivation occupies only 0.7% of all olive groves in Spain, and non-profit producers face a unique set of joys and problems associated with the production of table olives and olive oil.
One of them is Barrington Dubois, a musician and wedding singer who lives on the Costa Calida, in the south-eastern part of the Spanish autonomous community of Murcia.
“Picking olives takes about a week, and it’s quite hard work, but we enjoy such a “sport”, ” he says.
Dubois and his wife Julie bought 6,000 square meters of land in 2002. Their farm started with just a few almond trees. Since then, the couple has planted and grown apple trees, lemons, olives, peaches, pears and pomegranates, of course vegetables, without chemical fertilizers.
Their small olive grove, measuring about 30 by 30 meters, consists of about eight or nine trees that produce about 45 liters of oil per year. It’s more like a hobby, but they really like to grow plants and be self-sufficient. Knowing almost nothing about the cultivation of olives, he has learned a lot over the years.
Every autumn, the couple goes through the laborious work of picking olives by hand. Of course, it is impossible to make butter at home. Once the couple has collected all the olives, they will take them to a local mill and follow the next stages of olive processing and oil extraction. The result is a dark green olive oil with a slightly nutty taste. After bottling, the couple sells their oil to family and friends.
They also pour some oil into smaller bottles, sometimes adding pepper or rosemary to it. Any remaining olives that have not been sent to the mill are salted and consumed at home.
They try to use the earth and the sun to the maximum, to provide themselves with different products: “Recently, we tried our hand at soap making, using the remnants of olive oil, argan oil and aloe vera, which we also grow in abundance. We have recently planted vines, we are studying beekeeping methods for honey production.” It’s a great story, isn’t it?