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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.

k@ from Paris, France

Love the scene, so vivid, and i can almost "breathe" your picture ! We have this in South of France too and i love olive trees**

1 Mar 2009 9:43pm

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

I love olive trees...they have great character and delicious fruit. Funny, I never pictured olive trees in the UK. Looks like pretty rugged country.

1 Mar 2009 9:56pm

Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

For a moment, I thought, too, this was the UK and I looked rather worryingly at the potted olive tree in my study here and whether I might have to take a stick to it in future decades ! Lovely sundrenched shots, Grouser, and love that wild land on which the trees thrive.

1 Mar 2009 10:26pm

peter from new york, United States

interesting shots! another great environmental portrait : )

2 Mar 2009 3:04am

Marion from Liberty Township, United States

I love olives - great capture and description of this man's work! :)

2 Mar 2009 3:56am

EYES WIDE SHUT from United Kingdom

These are terrific shots, Grouser, and as always, an interesting piece to accompany. Great work

2 Mar 2009 4:44am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Very good images of the hard work of the "aceituneros", good composition.

2 Mar 2009 5:33am

Jean-François from Les Issambres, France

magnifique !

2 Mar 2009 6:17am

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

great shot

2 Mar 2009 6:21am

Broccali from United Kingdom

Amazing shots, the UK olive harvest is one of our best kept secrets.

2 Mar 2009 10:23am

Pradeep from India

Interesting shots...very informative :)

2 Mar 2009 11:03am

Don from spokane, United States

Your pictures are very informative of this very involved process. I had no idea the harvesting was approached this way. Nice shots and welcome information.

2 Mar 2009 2:36pm

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

I agree that they are a steal after all that labor! And when you see litterally millions of trees like I did in Tunisia and people tell you they are all harvested manually, you can only be amazed! Verey interesting shots!

2 Mar 2009 4:43pm

Anthony Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

Great shots,very interesting !!

3 Mar 2009 10:46am

NarB from Bruxelles, Belgium

Très belle scène de vie, j'aime beaucoup.

3 Mar 2009 6:37pm