(English) La Cultivada in Mercacei Magazine
“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” Extract from the illuminated book “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” by William Blake, the English poet, painter, printmaker and mystic.
The olive tree has been a constant in Mediterranean culture. Venerated, cultivated and extended since ancient times throughout the basin of the Mare Nostrum, it was regarded by Egyptians, Hebrews, Phoenicians, Cretans and Greeks as a sacred tree, the symbol of wisdom, peace and glory, and was identified with life and eternity due to its extraordinary longevity. Countless poets, painters, sculptors and photographers, captivated by the images that Mother Nature offers us every day in its purest form, have delved into their most fertile inspiration in order to celebrate the beauty of this time-honoured tree.
It was this leitmotif that inspired La Cultivada, a brand of extra virgin olive oil that was born of an artistic journey through Spain, from Barcelona to Seville, via Moratilla de los Meleros in the province of Guadalajara, and which resulted from the teamwork of a group of artists including Pedro Mora, Laura Parias, Victoria Bermejo and Elena Vecino.
La Cultivada’s origins lie in a family-run food business called Arbequino Andaluz, a company dedicated to the cultivation of the land and arbequina variety olive trees at their Cortijo de Arbequel and Molino de Santa Ana Estates located in the province of Cordoba. Almost twenty years ago the company’s activity led a major innovation when agronomist and olive oil aficionado Pedro Vecino introduced this select variety into Andalusia where it had not before been cultivated. In 2007 his daughter, Elena Vecino, drew on her true motivations – the land, olive trees and her enthusiasm for art and poetry – in order to accord this family produced oil its rightful place, creating a brand which conveys its special organoleptic, sensory qualities, combined with a refined image reflecting responsible, sustainable practices for cultivating the land, and the importance of cultivating the human soul through taste. The brand’s name itself, in a manner of speaking, epitomises this philosophy and the message regarding the cultivated olive, the cultivated person, the cultivated palate, the cultivated land… since agriculture, the true origin of culture in its noblest sense, cultivates steady, constant endeavours in tune with nature around us.
As such La Cultivada is a hymn to the vocation of being human and to striving for excellence, to cultivating first of all the very essence of our own lives to become united as many in one, a theme reflected in the labels, the work of contemporary artist Pedro Mora. The brand’s emblem – the cultivated bird, Minerva’s owl – is constantly watching over the land, safeguarding good farming practices and, like Athena’s sacred owl, transforms this profound wisdom into useful knowledge.
Published in Mercacei Magazine number 70 (February/April 2012) in the section entitled “El Mundo de las Marcas” (The World of Brands).