A Healthy Lifestyle
Olive farming on our organic farm provides a healthy lifestyle and the very essence of Andalusia and Spanish cuisine.
Symbolic, magical, mythical and sacred, olives have been revered since the beginning of time, by Greek Gods and man alike. In today’s world the olive is still treasured, not only for their delicious taste and health benefits, but numerous other uses such as medicines and fuel for lighting or heat. And of course, the fruit and oil are invaluable to every chef.
The Dos Olivos Country House is surrounded by a working organic olive farm, producing mainly the delicate Fine Manzanilla table olive.
Like the house itself, the stables lie amidst the olive groves. Built in Andalusian style with Moorish arches and terracotta tiles, it encompasses a traditional cobbled courtyard and a central fountain, overlooked by thirteen loose boxes. The stable block is complete with conference/classroom facilities, shower and shoeing areas, tack and feed stores and student accommodation.
Individual paddocks for grazing are situated behind the stables, as we believe in keeping horses as close to nature as possible.
The trees on the olive farm are estimated to be at least seventy to eighty years old, and cover an area of thirteen hectares. They are planted at the traditional tree spacing of twelve metres, which is described as “El Marco Real” or “The Royal Measure”.
The resulting space between the rows was used to accommodate crop farming, vines or the grazing for the animals kept at the olive farm. We still follow these practices by growing fodder for the horses and have plans to expand by growing medicinal herbs.
There are four (olive) varieties grown on our olive farm. The selection of different organic olives assists with cross-pollination. Included in our four olive varieties are two of the most sought-after table olives: the Manzanilla olives, more known as “Spanish olives” and Queen olives.
Every consideration has been given not only to producing the finest olives, but also to ensuring that the olive tree care enhances, rather than damages the natural habitat in which they grow.
Hacienda Dos Olivos constantly strives to preserve the beauty and health of its trees. We endeavour to do this by nourishing the land, protecting the soil through the vegetation that grows naturally from it, promoting biodiversity and producing outdoor grazing for the horses.
A very welcome side effect of these methods there has been an encouraging increase of wildlife biodiversity such as flowers and animals, including insects, lizards, small mammals and birds. White egrets perch on the backs of the grazing horses, and Hoopoes are abundant in Spring. All the resident wildlife contribute to the health, beauty, colour and natural aroma of the farm. Being within the prepark of Doñana various hawks and eagles can be seen soaring high in the blue skies above or greylag geese flying in V formation.
Take a gentle stroll through the trees, they have many things to tell us! - their twisted hollow trunks is a testament to their old age, through time and one can literally feel their former majesty and wealth.
According to Greek mythology, the creation of the olive tree was the result of a contest between Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, and Poseidon, God of the Sea, as to who would become the protector of a newly built city in Attica by Cecrops.
With his trident, Poseidon struck a rock. Water rushed out of the rock, creating a salty spring of water. Athena followed by quietly kneeling down and burying something in the earth, which grew into an olive tree, an offering signifying fruitfulness and peace. The citizens chose the gift of Athena and she forever became the patroness of the city named after her.
Fun Interesting Facts…. Did You Know?
Green and black olives come from the same tree regardless of the variety. The difference in the colour depends on the stage of ripeness.
Some processing methods may also help to alter the colour. Green olives are picked in September, when they are in their ripening cycle, whereas black olives have been left on the tree for a longer period.
Spanish olives can be used to complement an array of dishes as a garnish, in any type of salad or as a main ingredient. By themselves they are an ideal food, as a snack or tapa to tempt the appetite before lunch or dinner. They provide a unique taste of Spanish cuisine, especially combined with a delicate cheese, various breads and a crisp ‘mosto’ (young wine), a refreshing cold beer or a fine sherry.