Olive Harvest

Early November and it is the start of the olive harvest.  We like to pick our olives early; the result is a peppery, grassy, more virgin oil – and the weather is generally better!  This year our olive harvest has been pretty lean.  Olive trees tend to have a two year cycle of being rampant and then being lazy.  Factor into that the need to prune the trees every three years or so, which significantly reduces the harvest for the following year.  Needless to say we haven’t yet perfected the art of getting all these elements lined up!

olives at trullo solari

Olives waiting to be picked.

Still, we picked 160kg of olives over the last 3 days.  We hand pick the olives; spread a huge net under the trees then take it in turns to stand at the bottom and serenely pull the olives down onto the net, or stand on a ladder thrashing wildly at the upper olives with a big stick to whack them down.  Again, picking the olives produces a greener and better oil than letting them fall naturally.  The other important factor is to get them pressed as soon as possible.  Olives are like any fruit and start to deteriorate once they’re off the tree, or if they’re bruised or damaged, so you want your oil made immediately.  Luckily our preferred frantoio (oil press) was on schedule and our olives were pressed last night.  We’ll pick the oil up later this morning…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s