The uprooted stump of an olive tree (I'm 99% sure its an ex olive tree but it could be something else... ). Uprooting the stump like this is about the only way to actually kill the tree. If you just chop it down it will sprout from the base. In other olive related news there's been all sorts of UK coverage about some people who are growing olives under glass in the UK. You will pardon me if I'm just a trifle amused. The longest article comes from the Daily Mail though there are also reports in the Torygraph, the Wapping Liar, the Mirror and probably all the other papers too.
Essentially these lovely people planted 180 olive trees a few years ago and have just harvested their first decent harvest of 200kg of olives. These 200kg they have now pickled and are selling at the bargain price (ha ha) of £3.50/100g or £35/kilo. I think I should get into the business. I'll have to find some gullible sucker nice organic shopkeeper and I suppose I'd have to drive the car up to deliver my olives to the UK but I reckon I could quite legitimately get away with "Olives from English owned olive trees and hand-picked by English hands" (makes mental note that this will please Japanese spouse since she will be barred from the work).
So instead my approx 70kg of olives netting me 12 L of oil I could have got some £2500 in cash. OK I'd have to give some to the shopkeeper(s) and there would of course be packing, labeling and shipping costs but I guess I'd net somewhere between £1000 and £2000 for about 4 days of labour. Which err actually isn't very much per hour. Lemme see go worst case: £1000/4 = 250. £250/day 8 hours per day = £31.25/hour. OK so that's a good deal more than minimum wage but its rather less than your average plumber charges and a good deal less than I charge for computer related consulting. So maybe I'll just stick to the computing.
As always click on the image to see it enlarged and don't forget to visit of the olive tree blogging archives for further reminders of how nice olive trees are.