Autumn in La Vall

As we prepare for our very first olive harvest here in La Vall, we welcome the cooler days to work on the land. The extreme heat seems like a distant memory but we’re all still buzzing from the second Riba Rocks festival.


Autumn in La Vall feels like a sort of second Spring as, with a bit of rain and continuing glorious sunshine, everything seems to come back to life.


The olives are looking wonderfully plump, although with every gust of wind we urge them to cling on until the harvest. The first job is to lay out all the nets and check them for holes and get the darning kit out if needed.


Followed by cleaning and preparing the crates. In the meantime, a quick weather check shows warm temperatures, low winds and a slight chance of rain…


Our first morning, grey and chilly with a touch of rain. Not a great start. A hot cup of tea and we’re off, after letting the cat into the warm house of course. A couple of hours in and we are wet through, the olives are muddy and the nets slippery. Quick break for a hot coffee, change of clothes and to dig out the waterproof trousers.


Our second day saw glorious bright sunshine, the more romantic vision of harvesting olives we had hoped for, and another 200 kilos collected.


Meanwhile, resident cat ‘Tut’ takes it easy in one of the crates.


The third and final day saw a return of the rain but we got there and reached our 500 kilo target by lunchtime. Then time to pack the car with the crates and off to the mill we go…


A couple of trips from the finca into the village with the 500 kilos and we were ready to go.


The olives being emptied into the first stage, leaves and stems filtered out.


Certainly is seeing the fruits of our labour.


The smell from the paste was just incredible.


The ‘liquid gold’ is so fresh and so green, we couldn’t wait to tuck in.


Filling up our bottles and the whole process was complete in an hour an a half.


Back to La Vall and guess what was for dinner that night…

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