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Thrash That Tree

Posted by
grouser (Ludlow, United Kingdom) on 1 March 2009 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

The olive harvest starts around November and carries on until March. Each tree has nets placed underneath it and is then given a sound thrashing, every branch being whacked with a cane to knock the olives off. They are then coaxed into a pile in the net and transferred to sacks to be transported to the mill for conversion into olive oil, or home to be treated to make them edible. Although the process can be slightly mechanised by the use of a petrol driven tree shaker and a device like a hand pushed lawn mower, which spikes the fallen olives and collects them in a hopper, in general, the traditional method is preferred. Although he is so well hidden I was unable to photograph him, there is another bloke up the tree whacking the higher branches. Having seen the labour intensity of the process I can only wonder at the cheapness of the products. They are a real snip.