We first stepped into a museum of old equipment used in the last century. Some of the trees on the property are over a hundred years old. Though they say that the older trees produce less olives (don't we older folk know it), thus are always renovating the areas by planting newer trees in areas where they can divide the 6 different varieties.
This is a very old press. Those stones were used to roll over the olives and crush them. When making olive oil, the seed and everything is crushed.
The crushed paste is then put in this machine where the oil is starting to be separated from the left over paste. Seventy-five percent of the mixture is water. It is seperated by gravity. The oil floating to the top and overflowing into another machine. The round mat (you can see the holes better in the photo above) is very interesting. The paste (seed pieces and all) are smashed into the holes of this mat, then these mats are moved to the next machine below.
Each of these mats has the crushed olive paste inside. They are layered in this machine and then with force are pressed until the remaining oil is separated.
This is one of the methods of producing the very best (concentrated) olive oil. These little fingers on the ends of these metal layers act like knives. Imagine if you had a glass of olive oil floating above water and you pull a knife through it and lift it out- the oil stays on the knife and drips down the knife. This machine is like that.
These are the vineyards that produce the grapes to make balsamic vinegar. The type of grape is very aromatic and way too strong to be used for a wine. They sell the vinegar in the store under their label.
They had a fire many years ago and destroyed a portion of the olive grove (accident). This is one of the stumps. What interested me was the way they grafted in the branches of another tree on the sides of the century old stump. It is again flourishing and producing olives (you can only imagine the gospel application).
After the tour, they served us products from their store. That is soda in the glass not wine. Pepsi is about the only diet drink they sell down here.
We were an hour late for our interviews. This truck was loaded with canned goods, which were scattered all over the highway. We were all routed over to the other side of the highway and then back.
A family who had gone inactive in Villa Mercedes, who came back to church that Sunday. They wanted to meet us on the highway as we got back on to travel to San Luis. The man had made bread for Elder Martin (our assistant) who had participated in his baptism. An Elder Peralta baptism.Elder Martin and Cardus in front of the earthquake memorial in San Juan in 1944, which killed 12,000 people and wiped out the city. All of the beautiful colonial buildings were destroyed. We live in the earthquake zone along the Andes Mountains.
Elder Martin in the donkey cart with the 12 year old boy. He lives along the highway to San Juan. Elder Martin asked him if he knew where the United States was or Europe or any other country besides Argentina. The boy must not be educated in a school because he knew nothing of the outside world.