The Olive Harvest at Nazareth Village

When speaking of seasons we tend to think of our favorite season of the year. For some it’s the Summer so they can go swimming. For others it’s Winter, especially if they’ve been “dreaming of a white Christmas”. Spring is full of hope, and Autumn is romantic. But here at Nazareth Village we have a fifth season, the Olive Season.

The olive season is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and grace. Coming at the end of the year, November and December, we can look back and say “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:3). And the fruit of the tree assures us that the Lord will fulfill every need.

Picking the olives is not an easy task but it is full of joy. For hundreds of years family members, young and old, gathered to help pick the olives in order to press them. The youngsters would climb up the thin branches while the elders skillfully used sticks to shake the branches. After the laborsome work is done, the olives are taken to the olive press.

At the olive press the olives are first crushed using a big round stone. Once the olives are finely crushed they are put into flexible baskets. The baskets then are pressed using great pressure to squeeze the oil out of them. The new olive oil is known for it’s light green color and bitter taste. While bitter, a sweeter taste one could not ask for: God’s sweet grace.

(Written by Majd Shufani – Guide at Nazareth Village)

 

The Olive Harvest at Nazareth Village