Saffron harvesting is a millennium-old tradition in Spain where most of the world’s supply
of this exquisite crocus is grown. We’re talking here about
the world’s the most expensive spice also!
The Fall harvest season in Spain is on. For olives, it starts in September and ends in November. For the wines, September-October is the season. For “the most expensive spice on earth”, the last three weeks of October. . . For most, joining in the pickers and the feet-stompers is huge fun, at once an eye-opening experience.
Presenting as complete a picture of Harvest Time in Spain as possible with 6 blogs: have a look!
“HARVEST IN THE RIBERA DEL DUERO”
The suggestion: “Take an autumnal holiday in Spain to experience the harvest activities first-hand, a veritable celebration that combines ancient custom with the practical processes required to produce Castile and León’s most delicious wines.
“As the locals harvest these mighty grapes and proceed to manually press them, view local folk dances and enjoy a glass of the first mosto (young wine) in the heart of this northern wine country.” http://www.parador.es/en/blog/harvest-ribera-del-duero
However, note: By the time you read this, practically all the harvest festivals in La Rioja, Spain’s wine country par excellence, will have been over. What is NOT over is the vendimia (harvest) itself which could last till November. You can then still join the harvest!
“CHESTNUT HARVEST IN THE NORTH OF SPAIN”
You’ll get lots of local color at the Castañada Festivals!
“Traditionally in many cultures, the successful harvest of important foods has been a cause for celebration. Today, the tradition continues with the castañada festivals celebrating the chestnut harvest in regions such as Galicia, Cantabria, Cataluña, Asturias, Aragon, and Castile and León.
“In the Asturian version of the festival, amagüestu, chestnut and apple harvest are celebrated together. People drink sweet Spanish cider around the fire, where the chestnuts are roasted and dance traditional Asturian dances.”
“GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVALS IN SPAIN”
“The time of the wine harvest festival in early autumn is the perfect opportunity to enjoy Spain’s best-known wines. These festivities are a special event and make the ideal way to learn all about the culture of wine by taking part in all the traditions and festive atmosphere surrounding the grape harvest.
“The La Rioja and Jerez Grape Harvest Festivals are among the most famous; however, you’ll find that these celebrations are held in a number of locations in each of Spain’s winemaking areas.”
“IT’S SAFFRON HARVEST TIME!”
“The dry plains of Castilla La Mancha, about 90 miles south of Madrid, are perhaps best known as the stomping grounds of the befuddled knight Don Quixote. But farmers in the region grow about two-thirds of the world’s culinary saffron. It’s also the best on the market (just ask any Spaniard). The harvest season is usually the last three weeks in October and is capped by the Saffron Rose Harvest Festival (La Monda de la Rosa de Azafran) in Consuegra. We visited one year to take part in the festivities–and also got a lesson in the hard work that goes into picking and plucking the world’s most expensive spice.” https://hungrytravelers.com/its-saffron-harvest-time/
Saffron harvesting is a millennium-old tradition in Spain. And you’re dealing here with a spice that retails up to $10,000 a pound!
“JOINING THE OLIVE OIL HARVEST IN SPAIN”
You could begin to harvest olives from December till as late as March or April. But in Arte de cultivar el olivo, 1840, the book’s author Celedonio Rojo suggests that the ideal time to harvest olives in the southern provinces (provincias meridionales) of Spain is mid-October, and early November in the semi-meridionales.
Though “Joining the Olive Oil Harvest in Spain” was written in the winter, the blog is timeless. You’ll love to know about “tasting the freshest most virginest olive oil”! But beware, “you can’t eat fresh olives”. https://www.insidethetravellab.com/picking-olives/
“FIGHTING OVER LEFTOVERS FROM SPAIN’S HARVEST”
Great read. Here’s one story:
“Luis Cardenas Travado, 52, was hard at work raking them up in the hope of making some extra money. Maybe just 20 or 30 euros. But with all four of his adult children unemployed and living at home, even that would help.” https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/03/world/europe/fighting-over-leftovers-from-spains-harvest.html
Featured image/Julie Ann Johnson, CC BY2.0
Ribera del Duero wine/Camilo Rueda López, CC BY-ND2.0
Toro harvest festival/www.turismotoro.com, Fair Use
Saffron flower/Harshil Shah, CC BY-ND2.0
Roasting chestnut/Contando Estrellas, CC BY-SA2.0
Fallen olives/juandisanchez, PD