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Harvest: Cork

4 minutes

The once-in-a-decade harvest of cork requires blunt force and tender care in equal measure

A hugely satisfying portrait of production, this short documentary observes workers in Spain’s La Mancha region as they harvest cork from a quercus suber (commonly known as a cork oak). The process requires immense patience: each tree must be 25 years old before its uniquely light and durable bark can be harvested, and even after the tree has reached maturity, it can only be stripped again roughly every nine years thereafter. At harvest time, teams skilfully remove the bark with small axes, making sure not to harm the tree and risk damaging the renewable resource. Part of a series of short films about life in rural Spain, Cork shows harvesters in a delicate dance of force and care, simultaneously exploiting and stewarding the land.

Director: Diego Vivanco

Producer: Juan Sierra

Website: Kauri Multimedia

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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