I spent a day recently with a few eager family members picking olives for oil, and a few for eating. This might sound a little sadistic but I really like picking olives. It’s a much easier job than picking grapes and you end up with nice soft skin at the end of the day because of all the oil that rubs off. It was a good day, sunny bar a few heavy showers that had us sheltering in the car. Peter, the farmer who sold us the olives, had a refreshing outlook on life. He said he does what he does because he loves it – the growing, picking, pruning, and of course fishing on the beach that is visible from his olive grove. “You don’t need money to be happy.” Not a new sentiment maybe but Its rare to hear someone say it and so obviously mean it.
We ended up with 500kg of olives – looking forwards to getting oil back from the press this week! I posted about the general method for picking olives last time and nothing new to report – a few nice big bits of shade cloth spread out under trees to catch the olives, and little rakes to strip the branches. The rakes are sold by Italian stores like Gaganis Bros and Constante Imports in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively if you’re looking (I know Constante ship interstate, not sure about Gaganis).
Last time I cured some olives for eating, the dry salt cured were the most delicious so I’ve made a much larger batch this year – Now that they are ready to eat, I’ve written up the whole method here. There’s also a bunch of other methods here these directions, are worth bookmarking!