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Every year I like to try something new in the garden to see if it works or doesn’t work. Last year, for the first time I started seeing lots of olive trees for sale—real edible olives.

I asked for one for my birthday in April of 2019, and got a small tree - the variety is Arbequina.

I upgraded the plant to a larger pot, but it was past blooming time, so no olives, but it grew.

I am not a gardener who moves a lot of plants indoors for the winter—it is kind of a sink or swim mentality. I do offer a modicum of protection by moving marginal plants to the front yard between the house and the shrubs for the winter. My bay leaf tree has survived now for over 5 years. My Meyer lemon did great in the 2019 winter, but bit the dust in 2020.

The olive tree came through 2020 winter without one damaged leaf. This spring, I repotted the plant to a larger container and it bloomed its heart out.

It set a copious amount of fruit.

Something started eating them in June. I put bird netting around it to protect the rest.

About 20 made it to harvest.

They aren’t huge, but they should be edible. I waited until they turned black to harvest, then soaked them in water, which I changed daily for about a week.

Instead of making my own brine, I simply used some from a jar of black olives I was using. I haven’t eaten one yet, but that will come soon. I am sure they will be fantastic! It is not about setting records for edible olives, or making olive oil, but it is the adventure of something new. It has been fun, and I am thrilled I got some olives!

The plant continues to grow and I am expecting a large harvest next year. Once again, I will move it to the protected spot in the front yard in late October/ early November. Fingers crossed!

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