The idea for The Gay Farmer came in the beginning of 2008 after doing my first olive harvest on my mother’s small holding in Moratalla, north west Murcia in Spain.
The harvest takes us around a week to ten days of hard work netting the ground around the olive tree, up the tree precariously holding on to a large branch and also up a ladder carefully getting the olives off the branches without bruising the precious fruit. Then around 4 pm we place the crates in the back of the car and take them to the local co-op for processing into oil. We do this daily until our 50 or so trees are all done. I love this time of year working outside, more often than not in t-shirts enjoying the warm January Spanish sunshine collecting nature’s harvest.
The oil from our harvest tasted wonderful and the idea came to import to the UK and sell to local delis, wholefood and grocery stores. The word spread amongst my friends and, being a gay man, they teased me with, “so what are you now dear, the gay farmer?” The Gay Farmer was born!
After 7 harvests with the local Mill and an ever-increasing knowledge of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil I made the decision, on my birthday, in February 2019 whilst at our farm to switch Olive Mills in to one of the finest and oldest family run Organic mills in the country. After 6 generations at Cortijo El Tobazo, since 1850 no less, the family produce one of the finest Arbequina and Picual Olive Oils available.
Their organic and bio diversity principles are second to none, resulting in an Olive forest, where the land is not rotavated, leaving a sea of green goodness for 197 different species of fauna and flora as nature intended. Only the necessary pruning and clearing of vegetation around the trees with as little interfering as possible. Indeed all the cuttings, leaves along with the mill waste and local organic cow dung are composted to achieve a natural organic fertiliser, which is then incorporated into the olive grove.
The Olive Mill is situated at the centre of a 1500-acre estate, ensuring the olives are from tree to press in less than 3 hours to limit oxidization. This preserve maximum health benefits and flavour.
So that is the story so far, all that is left to say is “Enjoy”, The Gay Farmer, Award Winning Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil at its finest and as it should be, whilst caring and respecting this beautiful planet we live on for generations to come…