After a week on the steep, rocky land mentioned in the previous post, we are now on another plot of land 3-4km (~2 mi) away from the town. The land is very flat so there is no climbing up and down hills of rocks and sand. It’s much easier to harvest the olives and go from tree to tree. It makes the process go much more quickly. The trees were all planted in 2003 and thus are fairly small. This means less climbing trees and ladders. Also the soil here is very good so many trees produce some enormous olives.
Fun Fact- all the plots of land have names. The first one I mentioned was named “saba al khair” which means “good morning”. Why? I’m not sure. This one is named Khaled Ahmad.
That being said, before you leave for the fields you must make sure you have everything you need. Here is a short list of the various things…
THE TOOLS (a’adee)
“MShama” = Tarps/Cloths- often set under the tree to cover the ground underneath the breadth of the tree’s branches. when the tree is olive free, these can be rolled up and simply dumped into a large bag. I prefer using the mshama.
“Moshot” = Small hand-rake – used to comb the tree to remove olives from the branches. knocks the olives to the floor, so best used with the mshama. Also useful for grabbing higher branches to pull them closer to you. I was wondering if they made these specially for olive harvesting. I saw them for sale in Ramallah, so it appears as if they are…
“Herjai” = pouch – this handmade pouch is worn around the waist. Can be used to carry a moshot at all times. Also useful for when you are hand-picking olives and when you are not using the mshama, to pick the fallen olives from the ground.
“Asai” = stick – just a big stick. You smack the hell out of some branches to make the olives fall. Should only be used when you cannot reach the olives with a ladder or by climbing the tree. This causes some trauma if not done right and can knock quite a lot of leaves and branches.
Of course you also need a ladder, a bucket (good for scooping leaves out of an mshama or for gathering them), a lighter (for hot tea and burning excess dry brush to prevent wildfires), lots of water and juice, and a teapot. If you are lucky, you will find some wild sage for