Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Birds and olives

It is olive season and the four olive trees in our neighbour’s garden that overhang the wall between our properties, are heavy with olives. They are black and beautiful and as I pick them up in the pathway opposite the front door, I consider preserving them.


The trees were planted to provide for privacy and not for consumption purposes. However, the birds love them. When I found a small flock of Cape white eyes enjoying the olives, I was quite surprised as a fresh olive is quite bitter.

Then I wondered if birds have taste buds. I discovered by a brief search, that birds rely more on sight than on taste. That made complete sense to me. I had been tempted to taste the beautiful black berries but for a previous bitter encounter that dissuaded me from trying it again.

The curing of olives can take up to six weeks. One needs to change the water on a daily basis to remove the bitterness. The curing of olives will not be possible at Towerwater until we are in a position to tend to it on a daily basis.

Admiring the fruit, I wondered what cultivar it might be. Looking at the colour it can either be Black Manzanilla or Black Mission. Looking at the black bird droppings on our white lime-washed walls, I decided that it must be Black Mission olives.
It is going to be a mission to clean the black olive streaks from our white garden wall. 

1 comment:

Keith Loynes said...

Those olives do look as though they could be quite tasty after a curing process. Thanks for the interesting post.