A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

…and just when you thought you were clever…


…something (or someone) comes along to tell you different!

We were in the middle of a heavy olive picking session this week, in the bottom grove where it was so lovely and sunny that it was (almost) a pleasure to be out picking olives. It was shortly after lunch, so we were in the lovely stage of having a brief surge of energy.

Up turns one of our friends, driving down the track to find us (the tree shaking machine makes a very distinctive noise, so we were easy to find). An interruption was not really what we needed, but when friends turn up for a chat, work must stop! It’s only polite.

He gazes around at our land.

Not many olives in your nets,

says he. I’m shocked. It is a really good year for us, and we thought we had loads of olives! But he’s probably right – his land is at a lower altitude, in a warmer situation, so his yields will naturally be higher than ours.

Then he adds

You’ve left olives on the trees. Ana should go behind Kenton with a long stick and hit the last olives off the tree

Now really. He’s right, we do leave olives on the tree – maybe up to 20-30 per tree. But there are only the 2 of us picking, so we play the percentages. It would take an extra 20 minutes to knock the last olives from the tree, in which time, we can move the nets and shake a new tree. So for us, that doesn’t make sense.

You can see his point. He generally works in a team of at least 4 men, where you have the extra labour needed to do this. Plus, he learned from his father, and the thought of wasting anything, even a single olive, is just untenable.

So he left shortly after commenting on our poor harvesting techniques, smug in the knowledge that once again, he’s proved himself right!

Olive picking

Olive picking (photo by Kenton@imagenary.co.uk)

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!

4 thoughts on “…and just when you thought you were clever…

  1. Very simple solution here, Ann. You should have handed him a big stick and told him to follow you round!!!
    A very happy New Year to you and Kenton, Milo and Fitz.
    Jan, Don and Ben


  2. He could have at least offered to help !! Smug bugger