Monday, 1 December 2008
Moulin de la Brague: the Olive Harvest.
The next few posts I'm going to dedicate to the open day at our local olive mill last Saturday so an interest in olives is going to be obligatory till Thursday at least!
This is the Moulin A Huile Michel also known as the Moulin de la Brague and is one of the very few working olive mills in the area which means that any one can harvest their olives from even one tree and take them down to the mill where they'll be turned into olive oil almost under your eyes. "Almost" because the production has been semi automated so the machinery is closed in.
A mill has existed on this site since the fifteenth century but passed into the hands of the Michel family in 1848. It was Roger Michel who dynamised the business in the 1960s and it continues to thrive especially in a time which recognises the benefits of olive oil.
The mill operates during the olive harvest which takes place from November to March. This year has been exceptional and the olives are flooding in. The mill also has a pleasant boutique selling local products and their own olive oil and olives. You can also buy products made elsewhere. The shop is on most tour operaters' itineraries where tourists can stock up on local gifts to take home with them..I buy my olives from them and really good olive oil to give away as presents.
It was such a dreadful day weather wise that I decided to put the photo in black and white, it was almost monochrome anyway.