Olive Picking in Jezzine
Saturday night I was out with some friends and my friend George mentioned that he was going olive picking in his village, Jezzine, on Sunday. He recently acquired a piece of land from his uncle so this was the first time that he was going to be responsible for picking the olives himself. (So recently, in fact, that he’d already ordered 40 kilos of olives from someone else!) I’d never been olive picking and thought it would be a fun experience so I volunteered to come along and help.
We drove south to Saida and then up towards Jezzine. When I got the first glimpse of the valley I was surprised at how beautiful it was. George never mentioned that the location of his village was so scenic!
There are only four olive trees on George’s land, which doesn’t seem like too much until you realize that you are only two people, the trees are huge, and there are a lot of olives on each tree!
It was slow going at first but both of us quickly got the hang of picking systematically instead of randomly. George was the first one to climb up into the tree to get the hard to reach olives.
After clearing the lower branches I got up there too. I can’t remember the last time I climbed a tree!
We worked from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. before stopping for a long 2 hour lunch in a nearby restaurant overlooking the valley. It was lovely and the food was delicious. I told George that next year he could market this as a cultural activity (Olive picking in a picturesque Lebanese village with spectacular views. Lunch in a typical Lebanese restaurant overlooking the valley. Wouldn’t you sign up for that trip??) and get a lot of friends to come help.
After lunch we returned to pick for another hour or so before it got dark. We got pretty much all of the olives within reach. Just the really high ones remain.
Apart from olives there were grapes and persimmons.
It was a lovely day!