Saturday 26 October 2013

And We Have Olive Oil

If someone had told me back in 2007 that, six years on,
I would be tromping around just under an acre of
garden in bikini bottoms & flowery wellies
towards the end of October, I would've said
they were mad. 
But for the past couple of days that's precisely what
I've been doing....harvesting our olives.

It's back breaking work and when your back finally locks as you 
go to straighten up, it's no joke. But with the sun on your back
in temps of 24 degrees, there can be no better feeling.....
apart from when hubby returns from the olieficio with 
35 litres of extra virgin olive oil.

I explained that putting the nets out is not a simple job - 
even with our small number of trees, it took us
a couple of days.
And then came the waiting game - waiting to see how
many windfall olives there are to decide that it's the
right time to harvest them....which involves hubby climbing
into the trees to shake the olives off, me standing beneath
and discovering just how painful being hit by falling
olives actually is, sifting leaves out by hand before
sacking the olives ready to take to the oleificio.

Bianca loaded up & ready to go

We spent this morning harvesting what was to be our final couple 
of sacks before hubby took them to the oleificio this afternoon.
He was gone a couple of hours, as the whole pressing
process is very much a communal and 'hands on' thing
in Montecorice - you turn up, you wait your turn & then 
you empty your sacchetti ready for the sifting of the olives
and you can press the buttons for the 
machinery yourself. Everyone stands around chatting,
helping each other offload their crop.

Hubby starts the process

Our 6 sacchetti weighed in at 155kgs and yielded 35 litres of oil.
We can't compare that to our 2011 harvest as the oleificio didn't
ask hubby to weigh them then - all we can say is, for €20
a pressing, it's a bargain!

Our olives turned into our own extra virgin olive oil

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