Many people have worked picking olives on Kibbutz Gezer, dating back to the early days with Pat and Ruth in the 1980's through to today, when Ilan and Yonatan Braude, Ruth and Jan, Jesse and 2 of her kids, Tom Haskell, and myself were all working. So if you've ever picked olives, I'd like to know about it and let others know too. So send a note through my email or the contact page on this website with your name, the dates you picked olives, any photos you have of the olives or of yourself, and any other interesting info. I'll enter it into the olive picker bios
We are in the midst of our largest harvest ever. It's been exhausting, interesting, challenging, hilarious, emotional, you name it. Like always, well thought out plans get scrapped and changed.So many great people come to help and move on, some for only an hour or 2 (like the couple who were out for a walk and got convinced to stay and work for a couple hours, and Jill and Bob who wanted to see what olive picking looks like and came back as experienced pickers for another round). Others come and stay for weeks. The best part of this work is getting to know so many people through working together, and catching up with those I've known for years and even decades.
Our largest harvest til this year was 10 1/2 tons. We have already picked over 7 tons, and we are maybe halfway finished. What began on October 30th with just me and Lia picking the olives from the few early ripening manzanilo olive trees has become today a group of 10 , buzzing along and raking clusters of pink and purple and green and blue/black olives off the trees and onto the sheets covering the ground, loading the boxes, and getting them into the truck and off to the press. We picked over a ton today alone!
I'm half asleep so I will have to pick up again soon. Lots of stories to tell, and people to thank. Another time...
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I'm Dani Livney, a member of Kibbutz Gezer, and the manager of the Gezer olives. I love it! I also work as a lawyer, focusing on environmental projects and promoting environmental empowerment and education.