Olive Oil Harvest Project: Day 1

The crisp waft of fresh green unpolluted serene smell of the morning air always brightens any day doesn’t it? Perhaps I savor my “dark” early mornings to a point where I treat it more like a cult like ritual approach that none other in their right minds would understand. Or maybe the giddy feeling of “accomplishment” dealt by waking up early, and knowing my days will be longer…seems a bit too personal. How ever one would see the brisk early morning hours, it’s nothing compared to a productive perspective. All this rattling and weird fuzzy sensation about the morning delights may not make sense to most of us, but for an individual who relishes and depends on the perfect early A.M. for their day-to-day concoction of labor is priceless. Fisherman and farmers alike, live for the early break of sunrise. Knowing when the fishies are active and when and where to get the right spots on time are all crucial for a productive time out in the sea. And for farmers alike who’d need to harvest specific crops under specific process/procedure are all under scrutinized time in order to maintain the qualitative characteristics their crops are capable of producing from the beginning to end. As obvious as I may be inferring, I’m talking about the process of an extra virgin olive oils.

A day in life of harvesting season is quite relaxing for those who are able and patient. From sunrise to sunset, a full 12 hours time of laborious activity, absorbing the sunlight, and depending on which season, the formidable climate. From pulling, pushing, climbing, dragging, lifting, and often times picking tasks are not the only thing that gets tiring and dull, but combining that with a restricted time limit could be an overkill for a days work. Or in a more urban atmosphere think of it as a waiter/ess taking multiple orders, and busing tables, over a medium-sized establishment, all by themselves. It’s difficult no doubt, but not impossible. Your mind keeps moving just as your body, and you need to make every second count and avoid any unnecessary movements. You have to organize, prioritize, and capitalize your execution so to dish out/in the food on time, put a smile to that face and earn that extra tip, but more importantly for that satisfied customer to come back for another day.

Waking up near 6 in the morning, I jump up and prepare for the day. Loud and obnoxious, I wake up with a bewildering sound incomprehensible to any known man and soon orchestrate a synchronized tangent of unorthodox sounds of all available nearby objects capable of making the tiniest of a “squeak” even a rat would wake up to. To my surprise, swiftly and quietly my humble host poofed right into my room like a magician throwing me off my rhythm, half staring at me with his bloodshot hangover look the other half still asleep, and orders me to go back to sleep. A moment of silence, then he nods to the window and just leaves. Confused to what just happened and trying to make sense as to what he meant, I looked out the window, it’s raining. Like an excited child waking up on Christmas morning to check what big ol’ parents, I mean Santa, has brought me this year, I was soon disillusioned immediately like a guilty verdict for a crime I did not commit. Nervous, sweaty, and excitement had all withered away to a realization that mother nature deemed today as a no go. Nothing else to do, I strip down and hit back the sack…(To be continued)

 

 

“TEASER”

note:
Rain may yield great for plants, but come harvesting time, it’s the nemesis of all olive farmers second to olive fruit flies. (and for some, their significant other[s])

Advertisements

Changes Trending to Extinction

Featured

An inevitable end, causation of a changing society. In the past decades, we have seen much extreme advancements in technologies further improving our overall quality of living. All and most improvements which implement to our longer living and better life style, we could all agree we have benefited greatly beyond our ancestors. Certainly with anything we associate with costs, eventually takes a hit. Thus we see more progressive actions being supplemented to our activities and commitment to sustainability. How recent or frequent have we become more environmentally conscious? Global warming has been in light since the 1880s, re-instituted in 1979 (Lady Thatcher) and have gone through exhaustive measures and multilateral agreements to ensure the safety and conservation of our planet’s life and environment. Kyoto Protocol (’97), G8 (now G20), UN, have all played a tremendous role in sustaining our ecology. But only fairly recently have communities, cities, and countries have begun to make appropriate steps in ensuring prevention. Movements within the car industry, transitioning to public transportation, increase in recycling programs and products, alternative fuel research, “buying local” initiatives, farmer’s markets, all an overall change in our luxurious life styles. It’s been a huge improvement for people to evolve so quickly and to be more careful despite their (still) lack of political involvement. Even as little an effort is put in for the cause, still equates to greater strides.

However, there’s a need for some attention and explanation to a few changes that are in fact consequently hurting other cultures and lives.

How Do We Measure Quality?

Aside

How do we measure quality? Is it by price? Company prestige? Availability? Experience? Durability? Or a mixture of many comprised together? Some things are just difficult to grasp due to its significant varieties and choices while other things are simply easier to formulate. For cars, high quality is measured for its luxurious smooth ride supplemented by its array of advanced technological features or a simple durable car that’s long lasting, great mileage and solid resale value. For clothes we could consider fabrics or where it’s made. Polyester or cashmere? Commando or hand knitted? And as for food, well they’re simply isn’t a way to label quality like in cars or clothes.

With food, there are multitude of varieties from all over the world.  One simple apple could be worth a penny where in another world could cost 10x that amount.  The difference in how we see quality makes what we call quality.  Despite the cost of transportation and federal administrative jargon, the more we like of a few well rounded rare items, the more we begin to perceive an item as quality than the rest.

Japan is infamously known for their incredibly jaw aching price for fruits, or food for that matter.  But unlike the processing, harvesting, and distributing system we have in the US, Japan is highly concerned of being nit picky.  A great well known example are melons and fruit box (yes box, not basket).  A superior fruit only due to the specific inspections they undergo, the shape, size, taste, how it’s grown, how much on each vine, are meticulously calculated from growth to harvest.  The end product is nothing less than perfect.  Moreover, this procedure is manipulated amongst a whole range of fruits to accommodate the fruit box.  And like inspecting a newborn Spartan, each deformed byproducts are discarded once again reinforcing only perfection.

The way they recognize perfection ends up becoming their quality reassurance.  Price is definitely mind boggling, but it sure does taste great!