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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Olive Harvest 2011 - Picking
After our Olive Harvest being so disappointing last year we were really hoping for a better one this year. In fact it turned out better than we had hoped for, but unfortunately we did not have the labour to complete picking in the time we had allowed this year. Two years ago when we had a massive harvest of 1,074 kilos it took four of us, two sessions of four days to pick this quantity!
Our friends who have helped us for the last few years were this year unavailable, but fortunately my sister was able to time a visit to help us and some other local friends managed to give us a few hours between them. This meant that for the majority of the time it was just three of us harvesting, for the four days we had allowed. With the mill accepting a minimum quantity of 300 kilos we decided we needed to carry on for a fifth day, which pushed our harvested weight to the 380 kilos. With time and labour there is no doubt we could have harvested a second batch, but quite honestly as this amount was going to provide more than enough for our own use and family and friends that we share with, we decided to call a halt. Shame about the unpicked olives but there you go, that’s life, no one else wants them as everyone has more than enough of their own!
David and I have been harvesting olives every year since our arrival in Italy in 2004 and quite honestly we sometimes feel we have been there and done that! Having an Olive Grove is hard work needing attention throughout the year, although of course it is extremely rewarding to produce your own olive oil. 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, but it is of course a slow and labour intensive method. Rewarding work in the sunshine though, we have always been lucky with our timing of the harvests as regards the weather, only getting soaked to the skin once, as heavy rain arrived just as we were completing picking one year, with no option but to carry on.
We were certainly lucky with the weather this year. My sister had beautiful blue skies to enjoy while she was here and it was a pleasure to be outside in the sunshine all day.
I will follow this post up with one about the milling process soon but for now I will share photos of the harvest from November 10th to November 14th inclusive. Good timing as the following morning we had our first frost, although it disappeared quickly and we had another glorious day of which we spent a good few hours of at the mill, but that is for next time.
For those of you that are new to this blog and may be interested in the previous Olive Harvest posts, here are the links.
Olive Harvest - Phase One – 2009
Olive Harvest - Phase Two - 2009
Olive Harvest 2010 - Che Disastro!
Olive Oil 2010
Lots more photos can be viewed in in My Flickr Albums in the collection entitled Olives and Olive Oil.
All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection
Ciao Christy - La Dolce Vita
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