Itâs been all change with the olives. I didnât 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 âcornicabraâ.
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 đ 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 didnât 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 CobranĂ§osa variety. A bargain at three euros a tree. Strictly by appointment đ Thank you.
Is all but over. Weatherwise we have had a couple of cold weeks where you had frost and frozen pipes. But is has warmed up this week and some of the almonds have bloomed. It been a mixture of sunshine together with cloud cover and light rain.
The little LE300 wind turbine has been helping keep the lights on during periods of poor insolation. I have been pruning my own trees around the property. I have been taking my time with this. Itâs going well and I am not going anywhere. I had my first avocado thus year. Of the Hass' variety.
I have been experimenting with making cookies. The almond and lemon ones turned out decent. There werenât many olives to be had last year but I managed to pick a few for pickling from the Belgian neighboursâ trees.
I currently have 5 dogs in the house. True four are still only puppies but they are driving me insane. đ I really hope I can find good owners for them and soon.
Text to Speech
Cold January days so more time for reading, Due to my particular situation I canât read books. As you can see I can read and write quite well well on the computer using standard âAccessibilityâ tools and by improvising using different font/illumination settings.
I recently discovered Google Play books on my Android smartphone. It can use the Google text to speech engine which surprising works offline and works rather well. I âreadâ âThe War on Horrorâ which I found to be quite a good read. This is a free ebook. Brits would feel equally at home with the various themes explicitly presented or alluded to in this book. It brought back to the fore of my mind how we usually manage to achieve just mediocrity when aiming for excellence. If we started out aiming for just mediocrity the results are guaranteed to be dire.
I discovered an excellent ebook reader on the Android Download store, Google Play. The name of the application is Evie. It is a really good ebook reader! It has style and elegance and superb functionality. I am not sure who the creators/developers are but well done to them!
Evie can use various text-to-speech engines including Googleâs text-to-speech engine which surprisingly works offline. The voice of Brian (British english) is rather good. I use it to read .pdf books from my former degree courses, and technical manuals amongst other ebooks. You can change the engine. Amazon has gone the 100% cloud way. Their text-to-speech engine, Amazon Poly works only when you are connected to the internet. There are other text-to-speech engines that work offline. You can download and use these with Evie. Most of these require to be purchased but many offer a try-before-you-buy option.
Itâs the end of the month and definitely the end of the summer. The temperature at night is pleasantly cool and it hasnât 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 whatâs 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 doesnât seem to be a closed season.
And I managed to pick up this good size clam â I think it is an Ameijoa Boa đ
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 havenât 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.
Thatâs 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 itâs fine. đ