The olive harvest time comes late in these deserted mountains especially to Janeiro De Baxio where we are staying on a campsite. There are unfortunately many abandoned and lonely houses all around this district as people have fled to the cities of Portugal and other European countries to find employment.
The people do, however, return to the land of their origin for this time of year. This Sunday is a “saints day” and a national holiday, a time to return to your roots and to harvest the olives.
It is a traditional ladder and catch net affair involving all the family.
Nets are spread over the ground beneath the olive trees whilst someone climbs the ladder and strips the olives from the branches by hand. Leaves and twigs come from the trees and all have to be tugged off and separated.
Olives and leaves are bagged up and transported to the centre of town
where modern machinery is brought to bear on the task.
It is important however to be able to recognise the two varieties of olive. The green olive and the black walking olive – (best avoided).