Saturday morning, we drove to the Mount of Olives and picked olives as Jerusalemites have been doing for thousands of years.
The technique of harvesting olives is simple. Wait until the olives begin to ripen, then rake the lives out of a tree. In our case, at the Lutheran World Federation, the caretakers had spread thick black tarps under the tree to catch the olives as we raked them.
After divesting the tree of olives, we pulled out all of the branches, rocks, and other debris we’d pulled out of the trees along with the fruit.
And finally, we poured the olives into burlap sacks. Our hosts said that the sack below, all of the harvest from our tree, would be good for two to three gallons of olive oil. Note: we didn’t pack that sack ourselves! Good friends shared a tree with us.