Photo article: How Brown was my valley..but signs of life everywhere: look at my olives size matters!

Tom Winnifrith Monday 6 June 2016


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It is now 30 degrees or more day in and day out at the Greek Hovel. And I am up in the mountains, down by the sea it is warmer still. But that constant sunshine now leaves the fields and hills looking ever browner as you can see below.

The poor sheep must be struggling to find green grass to eat as the wander the mountainside with my friend the Shepherd. But at least they are now getting a summer shear from a fierce looking lady with electric clippers. She looks like the sort of woman who used to represent East Germany in the shot put and so she needs no help in wrestling a sheep to the ground and pinning it down as she removes its coat.

She is now plying her trade in the rather overgrown field just past the bottom of the valley at the side of Deserted Monastery hill on the way up to Kambos. I would like to stop and take a photo of her in action but she owns a very fierce and large dog. Even as I drive past, the Hound of the Baskevilles starts to chase my car, barking fiercely and eyeing me up. His jaws are salivating. Sorry reader, but my devotion to you is not that great that I will leave my car and face Cerberus in order to capture an image of the sheep sheering female shot-putter at work.

Back at the hovel the sunshine seems to be doing wonder for my olives. I think it was two weeks ago that I posted a photo of little fruit the size of pin heads covering the trees.

Today I furnish you with a new photo suggesting that we will be drowning in olive oil this winter.

I am not sure that this demonstrates how the little olives have grown in the past fortnight but they have. What were green pips the size of a pin head are now the sizre of four or five pin heads. You may think that I am becoming slightly obsessive but I just keep looking at the trees, checking their load, it is all so terribly exciting.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - making pear jam part 2: it's delicious

On Sunday night I completed part one of this task, leaving a bowl of peak chunks encrusted in sugar in the fridge. 24 hours later the sugar has disappeared and the pears, as you can see below, were drowning in their own – highly sweetened – juices. Next up, put them in a pan, bring to the boil then cook on a steady heat for 15 minutes. And then cool and decant into four jars for storage in a cold dark place. One jat has already been opened and I enkoyed some on my toast this morning and, at the risk of sounding conceited, it is fantastic!

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