October is traditionally Harvest Time in many countries in the northern hemisphere, and Cyprus is no different. When we think of the Mediterranean and it’s wonderful, healthy, diet we are often reminded of one of its staple ingredients – olive oil.
In 2009 the garden of the Chaplain’s residence, the Hermitage, was planted with olive trees under the direction of the then Chaplain, the Revd Michael Houston through the generosity of Michael May. The olives are maintained through the hard work of parishioners and friends. It is self-funded and is a fundraising initiative of St. Andrew’s.
Each year “volunteers” come together to gather this bountiful crop to be processed into the outstanding, though not quite yet award-winning, St. Andrew’s brand, available only through the church shop, which is open in the Hall each week after the 10.30 a.m service.
Although the work is hard the reward is great, made easier by those who, though perhaps not able to sustain the rigours of reaching the topmost branches of the trees, provide the pickers (and hangers-on) with wonderful home-made sustenance in the form of delicious refreshments.
Following the harvest the process of getting the oil from the olives is a wonder to behold, especially for those experiencing it for the first time.
After picking and pressing the oil is left to gently settle, awaiting only the tender ministrations of those who, having sacrificed much to gather together sufficient wine (and other!) bottles (“only dark-coloured with a screw top”) decant it into the said bottles for all to savour.
Finally, after much hard work and dedication, the 2017 vintage is ready and is available through the church shop, which is open in the Hall each week after the 10.30 a.m. service.
Parishioners and friends are encouraged to buy their oil at the shop thereby helping to support St. Andrew’s mission in Kyrenia and beyond.
Forget Beaujolais Nouveau Day, make today your St. Andrew’s Nouveau Huile d’Olive Day!
Included are some photos of the production of the famous St. Andrew’s Olive Oil from soup (picking) to nuts (bottling), as it were!