Exactly two years ago today I got to watch for the first time how olives are pressed!
This blog did not exist yet then. But now it does, and for That's My World Tuesday I'm happy to show you where olive oil comes from.
Olive trees have been cultivated here in the hills around Jerusalem for thousands of years.
My neighbor-friends have a few trees and I helped them pick the olives.
We drove the full sacks to the Trappist Monastery of Latrun.
First they were weighed on the big scale.
Then placed in the hopper.
Quickly transported upwards on a conveyor belt.
Lots of noise. They were shaken and cleaned of any leaves or little stones.
Then the ~grinding began. (Not sure what the proper word is here.)
The workers wore ear protection.
Click to enlarge here--maybe you understand the Italian (or the Hebrew that had been added).
Just think how donkeys once had to go around and around in circles, pushing a heavy crushing stone, before this machine was invented.
Here it comes!
Beautiful pure olive oil!
The pomace, pulp left over after pressings, goes through the pipe into a wagon.
The Bedouin and Arabs have long known how to turn this gefet into fuel. Now Israeli Jews are learning too.
In wood-burning stoves gefet becomes an ecologically perfect fuel, burning with 2.5 times more energy than a comparable piece of wood. And what is left after burning can be put on the garden as fertilizer.
Back home from the monastery, I felt deep pleasure contemplating the clear rich oil, the fruit of our labor.
With its long history, its use in the menorah and for anointing, olive oil is much more than just a food.