Green or Black?

Posted on October 4, 2013


Living by Galilee Seasonality is full of ritual – with the same tasks carried out year after year under a delightfully never-exhausted series of circumstances. Now, after the drenching of our first substantial rain, it is time to harvest olives.

The first green olives are for curing, and later on, when the fruit ripens and the trees are about half green and half black, is the best time to pick for making oil. Or to prepare black olives…

Every year we pick and cure our own olives. Sometimes when we are ambitious and energetic, we also pick enough to make our own oil. But a season does not pass without a close encounter with at least one or two olive trees – to collect the ripe fruit that, for all its profusion, in our world of plenty is most often left to ripen and rot.

On a week of vacation from work this past week, Ron has already picked several buckets of our favorite Suri olives, and packed them away into jars. IMG_2822

While he was enjoying a leisurely harvest, I have been running around frantically putting things in order for my own vacation next week – at long last, I am about to visit Istanbul for the first time!

Before I leave, I’ve been wondering if there is time for my friend Miryam and me to squeeze in our own annual harvest – when we roll up our sleeves, get the ladder and the bucket and spend a few hours doing what people have been doing here in this part of the world during this time of year for thousands of years. Or should we just wait until after I get back?

If we pick now, we’ll make green olives. If we wait, they will have to be black.

Green or black?

I was pondering these options when I stepped out on the front porch this morning, still in my pajamas, to breathe in the fresh, fall morning. And with a racket of squawking, 6 bright green parrots landed on the telephone line, right above my head!  Now I know what I’ll be doing this weekend…