|time to harvest!|
We'd impatiently been looking for a new olive press, as our old press had finally given up the ghost and decided NOT to open this year.
We couldn't pick the olives until we'd found a press that was open! Finally, through the "garden center" in the Ropa valley, we found one in Gardellades. It was only about an extra five minutes from the house which all things considered, was pretty good!
The weather was sunny and between 22C and 25C (72 F-77 F) which was ideal and only a little warm.
T got everything organized and ready and 8:30 Saturday morning we were doing the first tree.
|falling like rain|
There were so many olives on the tree!
We managed to get a pretty good rhythm going, we me on the ground getting all the low branches and T on the ladder getting the high ones.
|just before the gather|
We used three different sized rakes (the heads were pretty much the same size) to reach difficult places.
Of course there is a certain amount of eye hand coordination that you need to use, particularly when you are reaching over your head.
[Long rake is being used on tree on left]
|ready to gather|
[Balou really tried to help. She was at her best though, holding down the nets so the olives couldn't escape...]
Sunday we were again out early to start raking and gathering. We got three good sized bags from the first tree and three from the second tree.
It's a simple process, you hand pick all the big dead branches out of the pile of olives, then with the sorter you shake the olives back and forth until the little bits of leaves fall through and you have "clean" olives...
except the sorter weights about 5 lbs and you fill it with about 20 lbs of olives and shake out at least two pounds of detritus.
It takes about 5 of the sorters to fill a bag just under 60 lbs. Each tree had 3 bags.
At the end of the day you can imagine how your shoulders feel!
|clever way not to tear up the nets!|
Our guests arrived and while my friend decided to sit and draw, Alex decided to help T with the raking of the last tree.
He was so excited he begged to come with us for the olive pressing! (As he is young and strong and speaks Greek, we figured he'd be a welcome addition...)
Meanwhile I started to collect some nice ripe olives to cure in brine. I'd already done some green olives and some big Kalama's from a neighbors tree.
By Monday night the olives were all in their bags and shut up in the trailer waiting for transport Tuesday morning.
We arrived at about 10 AM, and waited no more than 15 minutes.
They had a nice little waiting area with a tv, which would have been fine but for the NOISE of the business end of the press!
There was a lot of machinery in there!
Then we were told to back the trailer up to the sorter weighing machine and empty the olives into the press!
We were really glad Alex decided to come- not least because the bags were pretty heavy!
sorter scale at work.
riper olives than ours were in vat number 3!! (our oil was WA-ay better)
Filling the carriers- we had two large cans and two five liter plastic carriers. We ended up with about 30 liters of olive oil (or 8 gallons).