An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, January 14, 2008

Olive Harvest - The Romantic and the Pragmatic

13 = 324 = 712 =75= 81 : that's the accountant's version of this year's harvest.

The four of us partly filled (only partly filled because none of us is strong enough of back to carry a completely filled sack or to hoist it into the vehicle)  thirteen (13) 50 kilogram sacks with olives in a day and drove them off to the olive presses. Weighed out we had harvested 324 kilograms (712 lbs) of fruit. When cold pressed those 13 part sacks converted into 75 kilograms of organic (we use no sprays or chemicals of any description) extra virgin olive oil (acidity 0.4 percent - anything under 2% is virgin and anything under 0.8% is extra virgin). If we assume a specific gravity of 0.912 for extra virgin olive oil that multiplies out to 13 part sacks of olive fruits equals 81 litres of product.

And, as is the case with most accountants; descriptions of anything that involves humanity, that tells you almost nothing about the actual values involved and exchanged during the process. But that's accountants for you. Six (6) hours in the open air, in a beautiful valley, under a warming sun (we sweated copiously) with good company. Six hours of conviviality and shared physical labour: spreading nets, raking and beating trees; sorting twigs and debris from the ripe firm purple black fruits, kneeling or crouched Arab style. Six hours that strain the wrists, the back, the shoulders and, the legs to fatigue levels. Happy fatigue:  satisfied fatigue; an almost smug fatigue if you will.

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