Monday, 14 April 2014

Olive harvesting

The time has finally arrived for us to harvest the olives... for me this is a totally new experience... because it is something I have never worked with before.
Luckily I have blessed with Jan, our foreman. He has harvested olives every year for the last twenty five years on Rooshoek... and also some neighbours who are very interested in our olives and gives a hand wherever they can.
Rooshoek olives are 100% organic. We have not been near them with any chemical sprays or fertilizer. We also sort of inherited the trees quite late  in the season so they are quite difficult to harvest.
The trees have not been pruned in years and as such we have problems to reach the fruit. In this process we use small rakes, like the ones Jan is holding in his hand on the photo. We are also cutting the trees so that with our next harvest we do not have the same problem of reaching the fruit again. Basically all that happens in our harvesting process is the fruit is shaken and raked from the trees and a team of woman picks it up from the nets on the ground.
The olives are then put in crates and taken to the press where the olives are being pressed for the oil. We pick everything not just the ones that are dark. For the oil it is not necessary to select the fruit according to color. We expect a yield of about 141 liters of oil from one ton of product. Will tell you later what the exact yield was. 

We have two different types of olives on the farm and we are picking the olives for laying into brine a little bit later. These olives will be picked into water so as to prevent any damage and excess bruising to them.

At the moment the excitement of our first olive harvest is causing a stir on the farm and we are enjoying every moment of it.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, thanks for sharing! I've always loved olives and been intrigued by the harvesting process. They can't be eaten until after the brine/water stage, right?