Updated: Jan 19
Unlike the magnificently large olive farms around Jaen, Seville and Cordoba which use a fleet of tractors with pincers to shake entire trees free of their olives, we do it the more time-consuming, old-fashioned way. We use long sticks to hit the branches and an extension on our small Stihl motor to tickle the olives off the tree. We also hire a 'vibro', as they call it in these parts, which looks like a huge extended vibrator with a hook at the end which attaches to the bigger branches and shakes them rudely. The olives then scatter in all directions, mainly falling on the nets so it's pretty effective. This so-called vibro weighs a ton and rattles your bones mercilessly unless you're built like the veritable brick s**t house. You need to be able to strap it on over your shoulders like a harness, switch it on the motor and stay on your feet as you shake the bigger olive branches. Once we've taken all the fruit off a tree, we scoop up the olives and put them in large containers near the house. We then move on to the next tree. It takes us about four to five full days to harvest the olives.