Highgate Common Olive Harvest 2017

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Tuesday 30 November 2059 57110 Shares

The annual olive harvest is under way at Highgate Common near Halfpenny Green Airport, West Midlands.
Dog walkers and Ramblers have been surprised to see the olive pickers arrive with their nets and ladders. A local resident says three generations of his family have continued the tradition since the olive grove was secretly established on the Common in 1929. "In the old days, we used to tell people that we were ferreting for rabbits when they saw our nets. When questioned about the ladders we told them we carried them in case we had to dig the ferrets out of the rabbit holes. Of course, being Townies, they used to believe it. Now that most of the Birch trees have been cut down and they can see the olive trees, we've had to own up to what we're really up to.
This year's bumper crop has been made possible by the unusually wet summer. The predicted yield will be in the region of 27 tonnes which will enable 225,000 litres of extra virgin olive to be produced. Although he celebrates his one hundred and fourteenth birthday on September 28th, he still climbs the ladders during harvest time. "It's the quality of the oil" he says with a wry smile. "It's much better for you than the over-refined stuff you find in the Supermarkets" said his mother. "This olive oil needs to be tasted to believe it".

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