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How to cure an olive

Lenna Jawdat

1. Grow an olive tree.                                                                    

    Be patient.

    It takes 12 years & 2 months of rest 

    before they grow fruit.

2. Wait until the fruit has ripened. 

    Be patient.

    It takes 6-8 months before they 

    are ripe enough to harvest


3. Submerge the fruit in saline.

    Be patient. 

    It takes 3-6 weeks to cure.

  • Combine 1 part salt: 10 parts water

  • Shake once a day

  • Change the brine weekly


4. Scoop fruit into sterile jars

    Season and cover with brine & let soak

    Blanket with a layer of olive oil

Be patient.


5. Survive*. 




I come from Olive:


Tough, resilient, patient creatures. Elders woven in the earth, rough-skinned and silver haired. Each knot, each snarl, each contortion, proof of adaptability. Each tree lives up to 2,000 years


I come from Olive: 

Self-pollinating, self-sufficient. 

Even their fruit takes patience

I come from Olive:


Bitter, unpalatable.

Harvested fruit has to soak in the sea.

You may wish to slice our flesh with a knife, or weigh us down to abraid our skin. This will only make us sweeter.

I come from Olive:


You may press us / for oil / but we’ll use it as a protective cloak / to brace against the elements.


I come from Olive:


Equipped to survive sub-zero temperatures, droughts and fires, with roots that can regrow.

* Destroyed in an instant. 800,000 olive trees in Palestine destroyed since 1967. That’s the number of trees in central park— 33 times over.

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