Well, we ended with 33kg of olives (I picked into the dark last night, and then got up at 6 - still dark this morning) which we drove up to oil-pressing folks. They can't just mix them in with theirs as they're certified organic, so have to do either a seperate run or add in at the of their run before they do the 2 hour cleaning the press thing(ie. their olives are 'contaminating' ours, not the other way around). I think at normal 5 gram average olives we'd have for the same effort picked a couple of hundred kg. Some of these were really tiny - the size of a raisin. Still we did 64kg all together, so now we see what sort of oil return we get. A 1/4 of that belongs to Bill and Maria, so I hope it's enough!
Anyway, sore backs... and more green olives to process for pickling. I picked a kg of those too, just for experiment. Sometimes I wonder why I am so stupid.
Is there a tree shaker on the island? We use them for pecans here and I once saw them being set up in an old olive orchard outside of San Diego. They're like a giant clamp with rubber pads and a spot for a motor or the PTO of a tractor to hook up.ReplyDelete
Dave, you're not stupid, you're optimistic and curious.ReplyDelete
Lisa S. in Seattle
Quilly, the mental image I have of taht makes me giggle.ReplyDelete
Dave, you're not stupid, I do the same thing every year with various fruits and I'm not stupid ;-) I do get a little carried away, but it's all in a good cause - feeding my family.
Problem with the treeshaker for olives is that the next thing you need is a strainer to filter the olives from all the other gunk that fell down as well. This will necessarily be imperfect and lead to small quantities of snail oil, bird-shit oil etc. in the final product. Hand picking gets you less contaminant and in the absence of a decent filtering tool is not much slowerReplyDelete
[I note that if anyone sells you 'vegan' 'organic' olive oil they are certainly lying about one of those two attributes of not both because any olive tree that isn't dosed with inorganic chemical bugspreays will contain insects, snails etc etc.]
PS when I pick 64kg of olives I expect about 10L of oil and most of the olives round here aren't exactly giants - maybe the size of a pistachio nut or a little bigger. Our olives are flowering right now and covering the cars with yellow pollen and tiny ex-flowers. Later this month is will probably be worth washing the car, it hasn't been worth it since about february what with all the tree sex going on in the neighbourhood.ReplyDelete
Amazing olives you got there, Francis, that don't get pooped on if they are simply hand picked. ;)ReplyDelete
Any fruit that fell for a tree shaker would have a rough time in the roaring 40s I suspect. Never seen one, although it's an idea I will suggest to Jude and Maryanne. Be close to impossible for these trees as they are against a tall paling fence, and the other side is a much cherished flower garden - there are only 5 trees but they had a lot of fruit.ReplyDelete
Seaboe to all to many people, those are synonyms for 'stupid'ReplyDelete
Cedar, to be clinically cost effective, I could buy 30 litres of olive oil for the value our labor (just as a laborer) BUT it wouldn't be ours. In some people's minds that stands as 'stupid'. shrug. We like gathering and processing our own food. It's more varied and better quality than we can afford, and we mostly enjoy the process. But being called things doesn't worry me much. I've been called an idiot and lazy for thinking I could make a living out of writing. There are times I think the former is right!ReplyDelete
(grin) I suspect snake oil is a major component of olive oil industry. Not all of it (sadly) being derived from crushed snake...ReplyDelete
On the 'to buy' list our olive pressers (who have 1000 trees themselves - just quite young trees still) is some kind of seperator. There basically wouldn't be enough labour methinks on the whole island to pick 1000 full grown trees with the same fruit (like yours- the size of a pistachio nut) like the ones we picked, the way we picked. And it certainly wouldn't pay. Each tree at a guess has at least 60kg on (probably more) and we were picking at a depressing 3kg a man hour. Given casual labour cost in Aus as sky high $20... (I think you can get to $15 for certain conditions)
Francis - I gather that the olives we picked had a LOT more oil than the oil from the olives from just about anywhere else (the grove owners are dead set on get some of the trees that self seeded from them). I've been told that oil content of the little olives better than great big calamatas.ReplyDelete
Quilly! as if any bird would be disrespectful enough to poop on the fruit that might actually have the touch of the great Francis!ReplyDelete
Here are a couple of things my google-fu have turned up:ReplyDelete
http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8267.pdf = just about everything you’d want to know about olives, I think. Including several ways of pickling.
http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/food-wine/60644/video-how-pickle-olives = this is from someone who, with his wife, have olive groves and are doing it for sale.
Hope these are of some help!
@Quilly, the point is that when hand picking you can make the decision to avoid the bird poop etc.ReplyDelete
@Dave, The only place the touch of the great Francis counts is with our cat. Food that was hitherto utterly unfit for feline consumption is rendered into ambrosia by my sticking my hand in it and mixing it up a bit.