Itâ€™s been all change with the olives. I didnâ€™t attempt to combine with anyone this time round.
So the only olives I harvested were my own. I picked these mid October.
The four main olive trees that I have, produced a very good bi-annual harvest as expected. They were the main contributors to the 157 kg that I collected to have pressed for olive oil. These produce green olives. I still have no idea as to their variety. I have young olive trees and a few not pruned large olive trees. These contributed about 15 kgs to this total. The 15kgs were a mixture of black and green olives. One of the varieties is the â€˜cornicabraâ€™.
I picked my olives mid October and essentially picked them by hand. I found this works better for me and is more conducive to a state of zen. When I got tired of the silence I tuned in on the portable radio ðŸ™‚ I had to bash the olives which were higher up with a long cane. It went well. Because of limited time I have ended up leaving about 25% in the field. This is fine. I am happy my work efficiency and finished in a week. For my efforts I got 17 litres of olive oil. This will keep me in oil for a year, so I am pleased. I was reluctant to collect more this year due to difficulties in arranging transportation.
I got my olives pressed at Lagar Santa Catarina, Afra & Rocha Limitada. My olives got thrown into the mix with other mainly small holdings growers. The Lagar gives you your olive afterwards. I am not sure how much of the oil the Lagar retain for their work input. I didnâ€™t ask this time round. I think it is 25%. The oil produced by the lagar is of Extra Virgin quality and is, as always, very good.
Pickled olives are nice to eat. Which you are waiting for your other dishes to cook. So about 3 weeks before the main harvest I picked some for pickling.
That about wraps up my olive productivity for the year. I will for the rest of the year carry on with pruning and transplanting what the olive trees I have. I do have 100-150 young olive trees for sale if anyone wants some. Of the mainly CobranÃ§osa variety. A bargain at three euros a tree. Strictly by appointment ðŸ™‚ Thank you.
This is a tribute to my excellent dog, Petit Gervais â€“ She was the runt of the litter and started her life as Pipoca (Popcorn) . She was the last pup of the litter up for adoption. She was a lively and inquisitive little dog if nervous. Pipoca suited her looks but not her character. I renamed her Petit Gervais after watching the excellent BBC production of â€˜Les Miserablesâ€™ in Portugal on RTP2.
She didnâ€™t have very a good sense of self preservation. Two weeks after I agreed to adopt her a terrible event befell her. I think she was hit by a car causing her hind leg to be irreparably damaged. I never saw either the event or her - as she crawled to her old home where my Portuguese neighbours found her and rushed her to the vet. When she returned home she was one less leg. Being three legged did not help with her nervousness. But she slowly overcame this and just before she was killed she trusted me completely and would always come when I called her and even learned to position herself so that I could lift her up onto the electric quadbike. By the end of her life she finally worked out my limitations and knew how to make her presence known to me to avoid being stepped on.
Her three legged
gait prevented her from walking on a lease as she bounced up and
down. One english friend suggested I name her Ping Pong. Bust she
could run as fast as my other dog, Bonji.
This year she learnt
to kayak with and loved it! She loved being on the sandbar whilst I
picked cockles. She also became confident in the water and learnt to
swim very well with her three legs.
Petit Gervais was a very good guard dog - of the alerter type.
This is probably one of the reason she was killed by poison on 5th October, (Bonfire night). Poisoned meat. From the security cam video footage, it was fast acting. Twenty minutes from when she came in to when she died. When I found her she has only two minutes left. I have a good idea why she was targeted. There are certain people who wish to pass through and around my property undetected. Hunting activities being one such a reason. The other is localized politics which does partly but not entirely encompass the hunter/gatherers mentioned. There are some very evil people here. I am not a good person but Petit Gervais was an innocent animal. I even used to keep her locked in at nights so that she wouldnâ€™t disturb the hunter/gather types.
I buried her in her blanket under the carob tree behind the house. Farewell Petit Gervais , Peeps, Pipoca. She was just two and a half. I now keep poor Bonji mostly tied or locked up.
Other stuff going on in October. Itâ€™s been pretty quiet. I stay at home mainly, pruning my trees etc. I replaced the batteries of my Solar P.V system but I have yet to finish the full installation. They are working fine as they are at the moment.
I have had a trickle of fruit coming through this month like apples, guavas and persimmon. The Persimmon was just one tree and I ate the last one today :). I have sold a few olive trees and aim to sell some more.
Itâ€™s the end of the month and definitely the end of the summer. The temperature at night is pleasantly cool and it hasnâ€™t been unbearably hot for more than five-six hours during daylight.
The end of September has been quite bereft of fruit for me. I only have a few apples that are ready now. As for vegetables, not doing so great either. A few tomatoes coming along and got the usual cabbage (Cove Galega) and potted lettuce. The Cove Galegas are dying off this year and I will have to replant next year by the look of it. The plants can last a few years if you take off the floral stems as they begin to grow.
I have planted some sweet potatoes and am planting more. Will have a dig next month to see whatâ€™s there from the first batch I planted. It apparently takes four months for the tubers to form.
Been in the Ria Formosa catching cockles about twice a week. Today was for the last time this year. For me anyway. I am not sure if there is a closed season for cockles in Portugal. According to this bulletin from the DGRM - (not sure what this stands for but it covers the Portuguese Fisheries Department) there doesnâ€™t seem to be a closed season.
And I managed to pick up this good size clam â€“ I think it is an Ameijoa Boa ðŸ™‚
Over 5 cm in length and only the second one I have found. Also tested the electric trawling motor with the lithium ion battery pack. The worked well together. I havenâ€™t been fishing as yet but I intend to as soon as I find some suitable bait.
Have got any olives of my own this year worth mentioning. But I have been picking up some decent sized ones off the trees of my Belgian neighbours as I prune along. I have managed to get a sufficient amount for pickling.
Thatâ€™s about all for this month. I have mainly just been on my own property so haven't been affected by the COV!D-19 restrictions as they are. I have a lot that needs to be done around the place so itâ€™s fine. ðŸ™‚