This is the time of year for the olive harvest. Actually, it's a little on the late side. But yesterday there were still olives on the tree across the street (on a public stretch, and judging by all the suicidal olives that had plunged to their deaths on the sidewalk, largely neglected).
The olives were in varying stages of ripeness. One side of the tree, the side that faces East, was almost bare of fruit, but the Western side of the tree was still hanging heavy with green, purple and black olives.
They are really tiny olives, about the size of Picholines. I know they can't be the more common Manzanillas, which are pretty big, but I simply don't know what type these are.
It's a good thing we took the ladder and bucket across the street yesterday, because it's gusting so hard outside right now, the rain is shooting sideways. Those olives were ready to be picked yesterday, to the point that they were literally jumping into our hands (and onto my head). Today they've probably all blown off.
We got a nice mixture of green and ripe olives, maybe about two pounds total. And we met a couple of nice strangers while we worked; a guy in a wheelchair who says he'd never seen an olive tree before (and he's from Wisconsin, so I believe him) and a jogging woman who also didn't know what kind of tree it was, but thought we were "cute" for harvesting from it.
I've seen olive oil produced a couple of times, and I can tell you I won't be trying that, not without a press and all the technology involved. So, yeah, I'm just going to try curing them.
Two different cures: Lye for the greenies, and mere salt for the blackies.
Am I out of my mind?
I love foraging.