Springtime on the Finca and The Return of A Popular Favorite!

Yes, Summer is around the corner… or so we are promised!  As I sit here is Suffolk in early June we have yet another day of grey skies but the weather lady told us yesterday this time next week it will be 28 degrees! Just to see the sun will be wonderful. And with it, the enjoyment of barbeques, salads, alfresco dining…
Tim has spent quite a time is Catalonia this Spring on our finca – here’s his news!

I spent quite a time in Spain this Spring with two main projects to accomplish; firstly, pruning the last of the trees we have been cropping over the last 4 years as well as seriously prune and clear the largest of the final two terraces that have not been picked for several years.

The other project was to re-spray my classic Renault 4 van with a view to getting our Casa de l’Oli logo sprayed onto after my return to Suffolk.


Well, objective number one was really successful. With practice I am getting better at pruning!  By the time I left in early May, the first trees that had been pruned in February and late March had begun to respond perfectly.   Lots of healthy new growth was appearing on the outer branches which I had thinned.  I had noted the trees put out much more growth off newer branches, so anything old and brittle got the chop.

The lower terrace was just hit hard with the chainsaw. I am giving up trying to harvest off large trees with their branches high in the sky. It’s much easier if the fruit is lower down (Plus, you get fewer olives driven into your eyes and down your neck.)

As I had cut off some big branches, I now have a lot of firewood to process! The trees recover rapidly, but it will be important to thin the new buds later this year, otherwise one gets a real thicket of branches where you have previously cut.

Spain April 2013 080
When it got ’round to respraying the van however, there were a few snafus. The storage container I use as a garage turned out to be too dark and narrow to spray paint a van.  I couldn’t really see what I was doing, so either I put too much paint on and it caused runs, or not enough and it didn’t flow correctly and left patches of matt finish. Outside, it was either windy or threatening to rain, so again not ideal conditions for the job! Then the neighbour decided to cut his olive grove with a flail mower on the morning I began to give the van its finishing coat of lacquer.  I couldn’t understand at first why it was getting covered in little black bits, until I realised the wind was blowing the debris off his finca. Then as it got warmer so the insects came out, and with the van being sunshine yellow, you can imagine the problems I had there.

Well it’s back in the UK now, but I still need to get the surface smooth and glossy before it gets emblazoned with the Casa de l’Oli logo. Hopefully the forces that be will cooperate!

Spain April 2013 064

Now Tim is back home, we are preparing for the events we have booked in June and July.  We will be at the BBC Summer Good Food Show as always from the 16th to the 19th June. A wonderful event in conjunction with Gardeners World. Then in July The Tendring Hundred Show, Clare Priory Charity weekend, and the Essex Festival of Food  and Drink. They all promise to be great days out for the family with some real treats in store. We’d love to see you!

LíráH Caramelized Balsamics are back!

Lirah-Caramelised 4 bottles
We are really pleased to announce our fantastic caramelized balsamic range will all be back in stock from June 19th! We are thrilled to offer these amazing products along with our own – LíráH is likewise, a small family business who is Passionate about Vinegar . Their website offers great information about their award-winning balsamics and they are committed to raising  awareness of, and education about, this ancient and versatile ingredient.
Available in Classic, Lemongrass, Fig and Apple. Many of you have asked us for these and we are happy the wait to get them to you is over! Perfect when drizzled and combined with our oils for salads, sautéing, desserts and more!

Here’s a recipe we’ve adapted from LíráH – we think our Ginger oil will provide the perfectly fresh and savory bite to this dish!

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