Olive harvest at Lago di Garda


The olive harvest at Lago di Garda taught us some interesting things.

It took a 40 h week and (on average) three people to hand-pick-harvest 60 old olive trees. The trees have witnessed a few centuries. For an olive farmer to make even just a tiny profit (from chemical-free trees), one litre of olive oil would have to cost at least 40 €. What one usually buys in supermarkets for 3 € is probably not olive oil. It is impossible to produce this amount for that price.

The most important thing in a harvest is people who climb the tiny but high ladders. Fruit pickers have to climb up a few metres to reach the highest branches. There also have to be people on the ground who manage the nets and the falling olives to fall correctly and hand-pick olives from the lower branches.

This year, the harvest has been more fruitful than any other harvest in the last decade. The harvest extracts were 180 litres of oil whereas in other years, it’s regularly been around 100 litres. The taste of this pure oil is mild and ‚kind‘. Unlike olives from other regions and different kinds of trees it doesn’t create a bitter taste in the throat.

Surrounded by healthy and organic food, the garden bears fruit even in winter. A garden is, although it requires such great care and physical work, a luxury. One can be sure of what is on his plate. And – there’s a certain flower you can eat – a natural antibiotic named nasturtium (Kapuzinerkresse).



The old honey bee home


Ginger-pumpkin soup with a nasturtium flower





Keeping the nets in neat layers for the olives to be picked up easily

A wave of heat

The summer drought forces the trees into autumn mode. Grass lanes have turned from green to thirsting yellow long ago. The rivers run dry. After a few weeks of consistent heat, the body adjusts to the unknown absence of need to warm itself. People swap their living room for the lake in the park and enjoy an open, cheerful summer culture. For some plants, the season couldn’t make them blossom brighter…

Spring as an archetype

One of the simplifications to understanding our cosmos – which could be true – is the similarity of its ‚layers‘. Perpetually, the laws of one layer of the cosmos are repeated in its microcosmos. We have archetypes that beautifully fit into a higher or lower level of construct. Natural laws repeat themselves.

It’s spring and nature explodes. The seemingly dead awakens. The streams of life begin to rush powerfully. Ice melts like butter on a stove and runs down the valley, fills the rivers, brings water to the plants, lets them rise to the sun and grow and grow. Fresh strength blossoms in bright, shameless colours. Nature expands with a pang – after months of nothing into everything. After you’ve already forgotten how the warm sun feels on your skin and the mild evening breeze goes through your hair, you’re standing in awe in front of a banquette of golden summer’s warmth.

You’re like that. The mind is like that. You’re nature. Most probably you’ll witness winter in yourself, frozen thoughtstreams. It’s sharp ice edges pierce your heart, you don’t swim but slitter on a life-hostile hard cold ground, clattering teeth, no end in sight. But that’s not the whole picture. Oh, how you will resemble a firework when it feels right for you again. You have waited long enough. You break out. Naturally, your flowers will show, your heart will melt, you’ll  share your love with the world. We go through the seasons, and now it’s spring.

About Ardillas Detallistas

Hello to my photography website, dear reader.

A long time ago my parents made me the gift of a first camera, a reusable small red-yellow plastic device with two big handles on each side. It was an analogue camera with absolutely no possibility to modify any settings. Can you imagine how it must have looked like? Yes, yes, you are right. The hilarious design appeared very alien and people laughed about it every time they saw it in action. But I was very content for a while with the magical box.

The children’s shop which sold it back then still offers child-handy cameras, but as technical progress requires, the newly available camera is integrated in a drone which the child can easily maneuvre thirty metres high up in the sky. I have not so much advanced in height with my pictures, but the status of my camera equipment has technically improved.

You’re welcome to click around in the mix of what I have captured over the last years.

If you like to get in contact, I’m gladly receiving your mail via message@josefinebirk.de.