Olive Tree Wisdom

Figured I would chime in on what everybody is talking about right now, the olive harvest. Every year I wait anxiously for this time of year. Production success varies greatly, how much will my throat burn? Similar to the wine industry, yet a fraction thereof, olive oil is equally complex. The market is flooded with fraud and misinformation – it takes digging to decipher what is really going on. 

I keep an eye on the trees toward the end of summer, by the time the World Series rolls around, I get a bit obsessive, waiting for that first rain. This year I went out and picked myself, thinking I could get the minimum needed to press my own, but I came up short. It is not a good olive year, prices will be high, and suffer the blends to be bought by the uninformed.

You kind of have to know the soil to really get what may come. Googling olive oil  for this year, you get pages and pages of politicized news about Palestinians, who controls what trees, blocked market access by settlers and everything else controversial, yet almost nothing on how we will do this year. The trees themselves are hundreds, some thousands of years old. They are probably equally annoyed at the media’s ignorance, or shall we say lack of focus on what is really going on, or self indulgent, pseudo, opposite of real news. 

So when I woke up this morning to check the news I should not have been surprised.  Four years ago I stayed up all night for the drama, this year it seemed clear from all my echo chambers that there would be no surprise, Biden by a landslide, the screaming and virulent hatred for Trump had me thinking it was a done deal, so I chose a good night’s sleep. 

I cannot help but think that you have to really check the soil with your own hands, watch the weather patterns in the sky, and realize even then,  you can only get to an educated guess. I suspect the old trees would tell us to do what we are supposed to, that it’s just not in our hands, and laugh.

About the Author
Ken Milman moved to Raanana from Los Angeles with his wife and four boys in 2013, his daughter joined a couple years later. On the rare occasion he is not working abroad, or trying to convince his boys to go on some extreme adventure, you can find him biking, sailing, beekeeping, spearfishing, or tasting rare whiskeys and olive oils with friends.
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