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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Olive Harvest October 2009

Four days of Olive Picking after which we took the first batch of olives to the mill. Photos show the process our 574 kilos of olives went through to produce 90 litres of olive oil.

We commenced our olive harvest at Campo delle Rose last Tuesday and had high expectations of completing the task by Friday evening. It was therefore something of a surprise that by the end of the first days picking by four of us, we had only picked five trees. These five trees had produced six crates of olives; at 20 plus kilos per crate this was way more than we had anticipated.

For those that do not know from previous years we harvest all our olives by hand, just using little rakes something like a child’s sand toy. This method ensures that there is very little damage to the olives during the picking.
The weather remained fine for the whole week making it pleasant working in the sunshine with the temperatures creeping up to around 20C.

With the sheer amounts of olives we were harvesting it soon became obvious we were not going to complete the task in one batch. We decided that we would therefore take the harvest so far to the Olive Mill in La Mosse, recommended by our neighbours, early Friday evening. On our arrival there with two cars packed with crates of olives we unloaded into the larger crates used by the mill. The olives were then weighed in at 574 kilos, impressive results considering we still have another fifteen or so trees to harvest.  We have a similar or slightly less number of trees than at La Fenice so it will be interesting to see if we will match our best ever record there which was 865 kilos.   I will of course report the final results here, once the second phase of the harvest is completed.

An appointment was made for the pressing of our olives on the Saturday morning, for which we returned with our containers to watch and of course photograph the process where we were able to. We came away with 90 litres of oil, a very high yield!

For any of you that would like to view the full album of the process from olive tree to oil posted on Flickr.com, let me know if you would like an invitation to access.


Our Olive Oil!!


  1. WOW! I'd love an invite to see the process on Flikr. Just amazing! I an almost taste the oil.
    Ciao! Jo

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  3. Wow, what a lot of work! How do you sort out the leaves from the olives?
    I know the taste of real olive oil, so I'm sure that its all worth it in the end!

  4. Yes a lot of work but also a lot of fun and as you say for the rewards all worth it.

    Maybe I should have posted some explanations with the photos above to make the process clearer. The leaves are removed from the olives by blowing air through them and the leaves are separated into the large basket like contraption in the photo above.

  5. Clever! Thanks for the explanation. I wouldn't have wanted to pick the leaves out by hand :)


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