This year already in July it was clear that there were masses of olives, everywhere and also on our 10 humble trees. (1) Luigi told me we should harvest at least 150 kg, if the weather conditions stayed well and the olive fruit fly stayed away a bit. An own olive pressing of our harvest should be possible, he said. I didn’t believe him very much and moreover my wife and I we were only two pair of hands strong; also knowing that our best harvest record stood on 44 kg…
Another disadvantage was nature: it was at least three weeks behind because of the very cold spring.
As a consequence with our one week vacation in November we were too early to be able to harvest. The frantoio’s weren’t open yet and everybody planned to harvest from the 15th of November on. So we had to go back to Belgium without any picking. But Luigi was convinced perhaps we should loose not more than 10 to 15 % of the olives, if we only started harvesting late December during Christmas holidays. Olives then would be less fresh, but contain more oil.
Unluckily weather conditions in the 2nd part of December were very bad. One day before we arrived on Stephan’s day a mighty storm blew at least one third of our olives on the ground. Too late to recover them, also we never install nets under our trees, if we are not there. If you install nets you have to be every two, three days around to control them and to collect the fallen olives. Otherwise they easily get rotten.
So we waited for better weather and started harvesting on the 30th of December. With the help of my daughter and her friend in 5 hours’ time we managed to collect 42 kg. The second day we worked 6 hours and got 46 kg together. Not enough for an own pressing, but far too much also to put them all on ,,salamoia” or exchange our first class olives for an inferior blend of 50% Taggiasca together with Greek-Spanish machinated oil. So we bought from our neighbour Luigi – who almost drowned under the harvest weight of his more than 150 olive trees – an equal weight and he reserved for us a pressing at Frantoio Bestoso at Borgonuovo.
On the 3th of January 2014 we were the proud owners of our first own fresh pressed olive oil harvest.
(2) a short movie of this for us unusual event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zmLaX4QQx8