Jerusalem, Travel

Olive Picking on the Mount of Olives

Saturday morning, we drove to the Mount of Olives and picked olives as Jerusalemites have been doing for thousands of years.

Olive Picking at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
Jasmine walking with a friend into the olive grove.

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.

Olive Picking at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
Bertrand raking olives out of the tree.

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.

Olive Picking at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
Grace, sorting the olives into buckets.

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.

Olive Picking at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
Posing with our bounty, and once again noting the impossibility of getting all of the Sondjos to smile at the camera at the same time.

olive_picking_mount_of_olives

14 thoughts on “Olive Picking on the Mount of Olives

    1. I never liked olives until I moved here and got access to amazing olives whenever I want. Canned and jarred olives don’t hold a candle to the fresh stuff!

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