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The Olive Tree by Carol Drinkwater
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The Olive Tree

by Carol Drinkwater

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This is the second of Carol Drinkwater travelogues of her journey's around the Mediterranean. This one takes her through Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Italy. Her mission is to learn more about the old and ancient stories of the olive, and to try to address the problem of sustainable farming.
The book is a bit pedestrian for the first half whilst she is in Spain, probably reflecting that the author was not pleased with what she found -over use of water and over use of chemicals- in country that is the world's biggest olive oil producer.
However, in contrast her stories of her travels in Morocco and Algeria are amazing. She almost admits to being foolish in going there as a single female, especially at a time when the terrorists were very active in Algeria. But her stories about the people, especially the females, who for the most part are living in poverty, are wonderful. Despite this poverty, it's remarkable how welcoming they were. Her adventures were something very few westerners would ever experience. I'm not sure I would be game to do the same.
The reception given to her by the bee-keeping community in Algeria was a highlight for me.
Don't miss the bonus at the back of the book: some recipes and photos. Unfortunately the photos are not reproduced well in balck and white. However, there is a link to many more photos online, which are still there (although it's a pity they are not well captioned to tell us where they were taken).
Also do not forget the map at the front of the book as a reference of her location as you go through the book. ( )
  robeik | Sep 20, 2011 |
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'The Olive Tree' charts Carol Drinkwater's colourful and often dangerous journey in search of the routes that olive cultivation has taken over the centuries. Troubled by challenges her own South of France farm is experiencing, she realises new approaches to farming are becoming essential.… (more)

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