Sunday, May 15, 2011

I must say Gravatar is the nearest thing to blogger in the 'not running well stakes' Blogger is not a well site and I may be forced to use something else unless Google does some fixing fast.

Barbs and I helped to pick olives for Jude and Mary-Anne -- who have set up an olive oil press up at Killikrankie. We spent about 2 and a half hours at it probably picked about 15-20kg (I'm really not sure) of olives each and neither of us are slouches at getting stuck in... it's just an olive weighs 5 grammes and they're only picking purple and up, it's a lot olives and a lot of manual labour. The scary part is the yeild - 10-12%, and the press is not huge and can't deal with too many kg an hour (I forget but I think 25kg an hour?). It also takes several hours to clean - so even starting it for less than 50Kg is not worth the effort.. This comes under olive oil for love, because you really can't afford to do it commercially -- not without harvesting a lot faster per person, because you simply can't afford to pay the labour, and compete with the big operators. Anyway, I am curious enough to volunteer my labour in exchange I hope for some oil, and they're nice folk and working damned hard at it themselves. I suspect it will be too good to use for anything but neat where you really can taste the oil - good salad dressing etc.

Anyway - Blogger is driving me insane (slow...) and I have a sore throat and bit of a temp... so good night


  1. ...and I have a sore throat and bit of a temp...

    If anyone hasn't discovered it already, there is a public health epidemiology survey about the prevalence of flu in Australia. Once you register they will send you reminder emails so it's no real work on your part.

    And Dave, get well!

    [I now have the habit of saving copies of any Blogger comments I make, because I'm finding it swallows 96% of the first comments I make. So in other words, it's driving me sane.]

  2. I'm kind of curious about the reasoning for this pick only purple olives idea. It does seem like a heck of a lot more work that the usual pick everything and let God sort them out.

    Lets face it olive oil is a labour of love for most people. I reckon I pick about 15-20kg a day when I'm harvesting mine and I usually give up after about 3-4 days because 60kg of olives == 10L oil == 1 years supply and then some

    (and no I don't usually pick the olives continuously on those days, its more like an hour or 3 before deciding that I've got something better to do)

  3. The annoying thing is that I seem to be hovering between sickness and health - not really going either way. And Blogger is is being a right royal PITA.

  4. Francis, two factors (and I think neither will last past this season...) They picked their first load for their little press - 50kg minimum, 'all' getting quite a lot of green olives. They got 1)Very 'peppery'oil - not to a lot of Australian tastes 2)Lower yeild than they expected. So they've focussed their efforts (seeing as everything is being hand-picked, by themselves or volunteer-friends) on purple to black - their yeild is up about 2% and the flavor is better. This is a very little press and the yeild is way under your 10 litres per 60kg (would be more like 6 litres if they picked clean, and a bit extra if theyr're ripe) and it allows them to harvest and process steadily for weeks (by returning for a second picking) rather than getting bogged down with the crop off ten trees. I suspect, in future as volunteers get sparser and some of the glamour goes - they'll go back to picking clean with combs and nets.