May 23, 2013
May 23, 2013
Rota’s First Olive Juice Story and photos by Karen Lucas
iguel had a dream. He wanted to have land; land that yielded fruit. Coming from a line that had tilled the land for generations, it was in his gens. Everyone in his family had land except him. Miguel Blanco has worked on FEWI JSV XLI TEWX ]IEVW XLI ½VWX 27 in ISD and the last 13 in PWD, so he decided it was time to make his
dream a reality and he started to save to buy land. On August 20th, 2003, the opportunity came up and he bought a two hectare plot of land in the area of Rota known as “los pozos del galgo.” He named his land “La Almazara”. There was not a tree on the land and he knew he wanted to change that as soon as possible. He decided to plant olive trees for two reasons. There had never been olive trees in Rota WSMX[EWEGLEPPIRKIXSFIXLI½VWX
and also land with lots of trees is beautiful. His next step was to go and see an uncle of his, Pedro Morales, who lives in Ronda and propose that he sell him 500 olive trees of the Marteña variety so that he could plant them on his newly acquired property. On September 15th, 2003 the truck with the olive trees arrived from Ronda and with the help of several farmers, they rapidly planted the trees so they wouldn’t dry up and die. Once the trees were planted, Miguel started studying agriculture books dealing with olive trees to learn how to care for them in order to prevent diseases without using chemical products. His objectives were three: get a healthy crop, get the biggest quantity of olives possible and get the best quality. 8LI½VWX]IEVW[IVI a lot of work since in dry land, the trees need some water to get through the hot summer days and the land must be kept free of weeds. He worked weekends and cool summer evenings/nights by the light of the moon and the one on his little tractor. At the same time he gave his trees pails of water to quench their thirst. Olive trees should not be watered with a sprinkler type system since the humidity greatly affects the olive tree. In the spring, the rains and the morning dew give enough moisture for the trees. In addition, the trees must be pruned so the sun can penetrate into the tree, helping the olives mature better. 8LI½VWXMQTSVXERXGVSTSJSPMZIW arrived in November, 2008 and Miguel decided to send the entire crop to the olive mill in the little town of Espera, the nearest to Rota. Here they ex-
change the olives for 5 litre jugs of oil with the name of “Molino de Espera”. He did this for the next three years; however, he had a more ambitious plan that consisted of bottling his crop with the name of his farm. This came about last year, with the crop of 2012. Miguel decided to bottle part of his crop with the name “La Almazara”. These olives were hand picked to avoid any blows that would damage the olives and mean lesser quality. Miguel wanted everyone in Rota who so desired, to be able to taste the quality of what he lovingly calls olive juice. He then looked for a 750 ml green color bottle with a golden colored screw top and with the help of a friend made a label with the logo of his farm and the words “La Almazara” Zumo de AceitunasVirgen Extra. In order to do this he took 1,500 kilos of hand picked olives to the mill at Espera where they were cold pressed and bottled so as to not lose any of their quality. From this he got real olive juice, of the best quality, SFXEMRIH JVSQ XLI ½VWX GSPH TVIWW From this milling he received some 200 bottles that he has given out to friends and acquaintances. The well known restaurant Badulaque in Rota makes all of their dishes with this delicious olive oil. They even have a bottle available for those who would like to taste it. For those of you unfamiliar with Badulaque, it is located right on the beach in Plaza Jesús Nazareno (La Costilla), Rota. Now we have to wait for this year’s crop to come in this November and get the new olive juice. Harvest begins once the fruit is mature; that is when the olive turns from green to a brilliant black. This usually happens in November. This year Miguel plans to bottle more quantity, 1,000 bottles, so that more people will be able to try it. La Almazara currently has 450 olive trees that bear fruit and this year Miguel planted 470 new trees of the Hojiblanca variety. It will be about seven or eight years before they will bear fruit. Miguel Blanco now has a beautiful farm with lots of trees. He has proved that dreams can come true and that Rota can produce olive oil of the best quality.
Open Every Day 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Open Every Day 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.