The sunny hills of Provence are dotted with olive trees. Olive trees are considered to be sacred throughout Provence; not only are they a fundamental part of our landscape, they also sit at the center of our seasonal family traditions. The olive harvest is a lovely bonding time for friends and family, and takes place every year from late August to November. We love sharing our traditions with our dear ones, so on a warm fall day in late October, Frédéric and Shirin invited their friends, our Bastide beautisans, and bloggers Jamie, Clémence, Coraline, Elyette, Lucinda, Julia, and Laurie to their bastide in Aix-en-Provence for the annual olive harvest.
We welcomed our guests to Aix-en-Provence and headed out into the orchards to pick olives from our trees. While there are a number of machines that can get the job done quickly and easily,
"we prefer harvesting by hand; it’s comfortingly methodical, perfectly old-fashioned and completely sustainable."
The olives we harvested will be run through olive presses to extract their precious oil. It takes about 80-100 pounds of olives to make 1 gallon of olive oil; it requires a lot of labor, but it is a labor of love and a fun bonding experience on a beautiful fall day.
After the olive harvest, Frédéric and our guests enjoyed a glass of rosé from Aix and a bounty of delicious, homemade Provençal tapas. Olives are one of the most familiar symbols of Provencal gastronomy; to honor this super fruit, we served olives in its many tasty forms: olive bread, olive oil, tapenade (olive spread), and of course, the freshly picked olives from our orchard!
Throughout history, olive oil has been the “liquid gold” of Provence and the Mediterranean region.
"Packed with Vitamin E, this antioxidant smoothes rough and dry skin and slows down the aging process by stimulating skin cells and almost creating a natural shield against UV damage."
We love olive oil so much that we incorporated it into our liquid soaps and body washes for extra soft skin. Our hand creams and body lotions contain olive squalene, a powerful moisturizing agent, which delivers oxygen deep into the skin and promotes healthy skin cell rejuvenation.
We ended the day with a tour of Aix-en-Provence and stopped by the Bastide boutique to tell the story of our brand and our products. Behind every product, every ingredient, every scent there is a story that takes us right back to Provence, its artisans and savoir-faire. The olive harvest is just one small part of the labor and love that goes into our products.
Our guests fell in love with the city and the boutique; they enjoyed their magical break into #LaVieBastide and were enchanted by the mouthwatering scents and beautiful sights of Provence. This event was truly an awakening of all the senses with the beautiful colors of the garden, the invigorating scent of the olive orchards and the delicious homemade Provençal food.
We were so pleased to have shared this moment with our guests and cannot wait for the next olive harvest!