Our olives have been pressed at the local olive mill and we have been to collect the olive oil today. The label said "L'inglesi" 22kilos. This relates to 24 litres of pure extra virgin 100% olive oil. We are very proud olive oil cultivators. This is our third harvest. First year: 4 litres, 2nd year:18.5 litres, 3rd year 24 litres. The trend is going upwards so I suppose this is very good news. Mother nature has played a great part in cultivating the olive trees as opposed to any natural expertise on our part. The lady at the mill said the olives were "heavy" this year, due to the huge amount of rainfall we have had in Abruzzo recently. The local word is that it's not been a good year generally throughout the region. As of this afternoon, our barrel is full and we are looking forward to savouring the contents in the many months to come.
We spent 2 and a half days in lovely, warm sunshine, picking the 50 out of 60 olive trees. 10 trees are still very young and so did not produce anything. Maybe next year.
A difference in Colour
This is a photo taken today of the freshly pressed olive oil on the left and last year's olive oil on the right. The difference is in the colour and texture. The fresh olive oil is much darker, cloudy and stronger smelling. It's a fabulous smell. The older version smells much sweeter and is very light in colour and of course, just as delicious.
These 2 small glasses of our oil on a balmy late afternoon represented the past and the present. Here was our vintage 2008 alongside our new -born 2009. It was indeed a moment to savour. We can only wonder how the 100% extra virgin olive oil is going to mature over the following months.
Transhumanza time again!
Our dirt track road was full of sheep making their way slowly across the fields going to lower pastures for the winter. This is known as Transhumanza. We met the very same sheep about 5 kilometres away on our way home from errands. There were 4 Isabella look-a-likes protecting the sheep. These Maremma Pastore Abruzzesi dogs are renowned for fiercely protecting their flock of sheep from wolves and other predators. They are usually a white colour and very tall.
Below is a picture of our very own Pastore Abruzzese.
An English "gentleman cat" in Abruzzo having the time of his life on the balcony today.
This is a frog I spotted on one of the olive trees I was picking yesterday. It is called an Italian Tree Frog. I was shocked to see a frog on a tree! I thought that only happened in Latin America. I had no idea that there were tree-climbing frogs in Europe. I have learned something new! It was very small and the colour was an exceptionally vibrant green. This first shot was taken by K at the height of the day. I love the symetry as the frog has tucked its leg in to minimise its profile.
This picture was taken at dusk as the frog was preparing for its night-time soiree and so you can see its legs unfolded. I love its big sticky toes used to stick onto the tree trunk! It reminds me of some alien from a 1950s sci-fi film!!