There are about 40 olive trees in the Mas Terrats gardens
The Olives. There are about 40 olive trees in the Mas Terrats gardens. Some trees that sorrounds Mas Terrats with the Mediterranean character. This is one of the signs of identity of the Empordà, and of the entire Mediterranean coast. Many poets and writers have praised the virtues of this tree over the years. Peace, fertility, love, strength, victory and reward are some of its rich and ancient symbols. The olive tree is slow, steady and perseverant, so it shows it with its very slow but safe growth, little by little, and it is hardly drowned by wind or other natural causes. It is a almost eternal tree – in some cases, he can live from 1,500 to 2,000 years – and it only has a weakness, the cold weather, it does not tolerate severe frosts.
It is not a capricious tree, it is extremely tolerant and everything works well with it: it adapts to any type of soil and it resists heat, wind and pollution. It does not like the changes, and it keeps its leaf all year. As the rest of the trees it changes as it becomes old. But that’s fine. It knows how to take advantage of the passage of time: first it has the smooth bark, but over the years it gets darkened, thickening and cracking, resulting in old, tortured trunks, transformed into singular living sculptures.
The popular tradition says that it must be harvest in waning moon so that the olives don’t get soften and if they want to savor them later.
The olive tree is an extremely generous tree. It is not enough to give thousands of olives, one of the most prized fruit for Mediterranean cuisine. But in addition its leaves have medicinal properties and the wood of the olive tree is very valued in cabinetmaking, marquetry and sculpture.
But one of the most special moments of the olive trees is the harvesting process. The usual period for collecting olives is between October and November. They are harvested when the olives change the color and get obscured. The popular tradition says that it must be harvest in waning moon so that the olives don’t get soften and if they want to savor them later. The collection of olives has changed very little. The same technique has been used for centuries. A web of cloth is placed on the ground of the tree that we will collect, and then the branches are shaken vigorously so that the olives fall into the mesh. Once all the olives are harvested, it will take some time to remove leaves and twigs, and to clean them with water from dust and ground. And finaly we have the fruit ready to make oil or marinate them to eat as an aperitif.
You will be able to buy the oil from these olives very soon
Every year, dozens of kilos of olives are collected and transformed in oil for consumption. You will be able to buy the oil from these olives very soon. So, this way, whoever wants it, will have the chance to take a bit of Mas Terrats home.
Most important, however, is that there is no tree more deeply rooted in our Mediterranean culture than the olive tree. In fact, there are a lot of olive trees that have witnessed relevant historical events or have been the protagonists of legends and traditions in our country.
Xavi Sala, July 13th 2017