Even though Monte do Casarão is a former eucalyptus plantation, there are many cork oaks as well. Once every ten years (the ten-year-period is verified on the basis of the tree rings in the bark) the tree can be divested of its bark, i.e. the cork.
The seven of us did the job: four cork cutters (the trade is handed down from father to son), two dogsbodies and one young man who painted the number 8 (from 2008) on the denuded trees. The cork was cut in the course of one Saturday, and the Monday after it was moved in front of Casarão Velho. After it had dried for four weeks, the cork was weighed and sold.
Our first harvest yielded 124 arrobas (one arroba is about 15 kilos). Since only part of our cork oaks have been peeled, we stand to expect a similar amount every third year.
The funny thing is that for the cork to be cut at all, we needed to have a road constructed through the valley behind Casa Boa. This road was constructed a few days before the cork cutters arrived. None of us noticed a thing. All of a sudden, it was simply there.
35 hectares is a lot of land!