Harvesting olives

The biggest tree on our parcel.

For the first time in our lives we harvested olives. Four about four hours we were busy spreading nets, thrashing the upper parts of the trees with sticks and picking. A very laborious work in order to gather – thanks to the temporary help of our German neighbours – about 16 kilos of olives, originating from the 13 trees on our groundpiece.

The olives affected by the fly; you can see the brown spots.

Spreading the nets before thrashing…

Most of the olives were unluckily tarnished by some kind of olive-fly. This year was a disaster for the olive culture in most parts of the Merula Valley. Those farmers who don’t use insecticides – they are forced to do so by legislation; otherwise they loose their ,,appellazione controllata’’ for their oil -, saw their olives for more than the half affected by the fly. Brown spots on the green olives are the sign that the olives are sick and last month already many premature olives were falling on the ground. Most farmers didn’t even spread their nets, this year.

Simone Rossi, from San Damiano, coming to pick up our harvest…

When the olives are affected you cannot put them on water and salt, so we were forced to ,,sell’’ our small harvest to the ,,frantoio’’. Simone Rossi estimated that we had about 16 kilo, good voor 2.5 till 3 kilo of oil. If you know that olive oil is about 10% lighter than water, we are 3 liters of olive oil richer…

Pure luck: harvesting olives in a sunny November temperature of 20°Celsius.

Simone Rossi weighs our harvest; he himself harvests 180 kilo a day…

An unusual late visitor: the mantis!

A weblink to Rossi’s frantoio:

1 Response to Harvesting olives

  1. Myriam Gobyn schreef:

    Dag Patrick

    Heb even mijn angst voor het onbekende ( reacties op blogs, facebooktoestanden,…) overwonnen. De grote sprong voorwaaarts! Ik ben echt onder de indruk van je ‘nieuwe leven’ dat je daar aan het opbouwen bent. Olijven, gecontamineerd door een bepaalde vlieg, het is eens wat anders dan de dagelijkse beslommeringen aan het atheneetje.

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