A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

It’s “liquido” time again

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s “liquido” time again. I really do hate to label the Spanish (or any other group), but sometimes the stereotypes do hold true. One stereotype that seems to hold true around here is that Chemicals Are Good.

And that means for pretty much everything. Most of the guys who own big plots of land spray the heck out of it. Even our friend Manuel does. He sprays around every single one of his grape vines, olive trees and chestnut trees, with the end result that his land can look really bleak. Vines and trees in the middle of what looks like a dry moonscape-type land. Ugly.

This is on my mind because Kenton is spending the next 3 days helping Manuel spray his land with a copper solution of some sort – it is meant to stave off the dreaded “hongo” (fungus) that affects olive trees around here. He sprays all his trees with this blue stuff. Despite wearing a mask and long sleeves, Kenton always feels horrible for days after the spraying – headache, nausea, the lot. It it obviously severely poisonous, and is probably absorbed through the skin.

Manuel uses it stronger than recommended dosage, of course – with the theory that if a little is good, a lot must be better. His olive and chestnut yields are no higher than ours, however, and we don’t spray. He is always telling us we should spray our land – he says it makes the land look cleaner and tidier if the ‘weeds’ are gone.

Yes, we do lose some of our crops to insects and fungus, of course. But that is more than made up for by the beautiful wild flowers, bees, butterflies that we see on our land. Not to mention the birds of prey that feed on them.

Manuel's nemesis - wild flowers! (photo by Kenton Smith)

Manuel's nemesis - wild flowers! (photo by Kenton Smith)

Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

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