We had, I think, about 30 acres of olives, and that was our primary crop. However, we had something like 10 acres of oranges, as well.
Oranges in our part of California didn't ripen until deep winter. I think we picked around Christmas, or maybe even January.
But perhaps 'ripen' isn't the correct word. The oranges in Yap are perfectly fine - but they are not orange. When ripe I don't know if they even changed colour. I think they became a little mottled. Apparently oranges need cold weather to turn orange in colour. My father told me once that the oranges in Florida had to be dyed orange in order to be marketable - people didn't believe they were ripe because they weren't ... orange!
Picking oranges was easier in one way than picking olives. You could fill a box much faster - and got paid much less. Olives paid anywhere between something like 85 cents and a dollar and a quarter, depending on the market price. Oranges paid only maybe 15 to 20 cents a box. You have to use little side cutters to cut the stem. If you pull the orange loose, the stem will pull part of the skin away and the orange will rot.
You can't eat olives as you pick them. They have to be cured first. And though you can eat an orange, I have never much liked oranges - so I didn't eat them, either.
But our other cash crop was almonds ...
About almonds another time. This very short post is because I wanted to get something up. Matters are accelerating now and I don't know when next I will post. Yesterday, 13 March, we had our first rehearsal for the next concert. Today is Eddie's 30th birthday - happy birthday, Eddie!! - and Sue and I are driving up to Parakai shortly. Next week-end - 20-21 March - I have rehearsals both days. Then on Wednesday the 24th Susan leaves for New Jersey. The following week-end, 27-28 March, is the concert. Then comes Holy Week. The Easter Triduum I will spend up north. Robbie's music group are doing the music at Holy Family parish, Te Atatu Peninsula, so I will be there. And the week-end after that is the Eucharistic Convention!
Then I think I will just lie down and breathe for a while :-)
All for now!