And so the real work begins!

Alfredo had two jobs that he wanted completing before I went on my way to my next Wwoofing place. The first was to clear the trees and invasive vegetation surrounding a pretty wooden cabin by his lake. This would take about 3 or 4 days. The second job was to prune the olive trees in preparation of picking the olives, which would take 2 days.

All we had was one saw each and our determination.


So here’s our progress! We began to the left of the wooden cabin and worked our way around to the right. On the right were cork trees that desperately needed pruning.

IMG_2031We learnt about cork harvesting and how Alfredo uses the lake partly for his water supply. I met lots of freaky bugs along the way.


On the 3rd day Alfredo brought out the big guns: a chainsaw and a tractor and cleared the things that a little saw couldn’t hack. When we first started you wouldn’t have known that the cabin was there because of the vegetation, so it was very satisfying seeing how much progress we were making.


This photo was taken just before we finished. What a pretty view :)


And here it is done:


Once we finished that we moved back down into the valley near to Alfredo’s house and began on the olive trees. Olives tend to be picked during the first week of November. The process of turning them into olive oil needs to be done professionally, so farmers will put the olives into large containers and take them to a nearby farm where they can be processed. It tends to be that this farm is only ‘open’ to receiving the boxes for a few days, so the olives need to be picked quickly!

Unfortunately I leave this place before Alfredo starts to pick his olives but hopefully I will get to see the process by my next host.

Tags: alentejo, cork, Olives, Tree pruning, WWOOF

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