I have recently rescued an ancient Olive from a part in my garden that had been hidden under ivy and Lantana for many years. It has grown very tall and I have been nervous of cutting it back further. As en experiment I have cut some branches right back and they are growing back nicely.
The tree has now flowered and the Olives are hanging like grape bunches. Do think I will have my work cut out for me this year. What I think I will do is to prune it at the same time as harvesting.
I have heard many symbolic powers of Olive trees here are a few :
- The tree of wisdom: In several cultures the tradition says that the olive tree was gifted to from gods to people. Thus, the symbol of goddess Athena beside the owl symbolized an olive branch.
- The tree of peace: Irena, the god of peace, daughter of Zeus and Themed, was always depicted with an olive branch in her hand. Later, in periods of war, the couriers of peace were sent holding a symbolic olive branch in their hand.
- The tree of hope: In the Old Testament a dove returns with an olive branch in the ark, in order to announce the end of flood and bring hope to people.
- The tree of light: The olive oil was used as lighting oil and thus it was considered to be source of light.
- The tree of fertility: In folk tradition of Greek medicine the olive oil is considered to be aphrodisiac. People offered to new couples bread in oval shape were they previously purred the first oil of the year, as an antidote to sterility.
- The tree of health: The value of olive oil to the health is widely known for centuries. Thus, the olive tree symbolizes power and health. Moreover, this symbolism is totally accurate due to the fact that olive trees are long-lived, simple and resistant.
- The tree of wealth: For many families the olive trees and their products represent the main source of income.
- The tree of balance: The olive tree was considered to be the tree of balance by the Celts. For this reason they devoted the day of 23rd of September to it as that particular date the day has the same duration as the night.
Here is how I am going to process the Olives :
Slit Olives along one side.
Soak for 2 weeks in water, changing water daily
(They should not taste bitter)
Make a salt solution, 100g salt per one litre of water
Soak for two weeks in the salt solution.
Pour a little sunflower oil on the top