Picking Olives by Hand
The farmer and his wife started picking olives
at the crack of dawn,
stripping the fruits, still wet from the dew,
from the branches into willow baskets.
When full, the baskets would be emptied onto blankets,
and the olives spread out into a single layer,
to dry under the warm Tuscan autumn sun.
the next time you pour
first quality, stone-milled Tuscan olive oil
over your salad,
that it could have come from the olives you see here,
picked on a late October morning,
the fruit of a long hot summer,
and of a farmer's dedication and knowledge,
as well as love and pride in his hard work.
Photographed in October
in the Tuscan hills of Mezzano,
in the Chianti region.