Furthermore, I don’t have any olive trees.
I post about it on social media every year, and there are a lot of inquiries. such inquiries as:
Where can I discover every olive?
Exist any specific types?
How much oil is produced by one kilogram of olives?
Where is the olive press located?
And how can I participate?
Since most people use olive oil in their cooking to some amount and since everyone enjoys the concept of receiving fresh, local food for nothing, there are many olive trees in the region where I reside.
(However, it’s not entirely free; I’ll get to that later.)
Here is how I approach things.
Step 1: Pick your team.
It is far better to gather olives for oil as a community or in a group than on your alone. There are many reasons, but the pressing is the most expensive stage, and combining olives yields less expensive olive oil. One of these reasons is that working together as a community is enjoyable.
The more olives you have, the less expensive it is to squeeze a kilo of them.
Even if a minimum order requirement may not exist, there will probably be a minimum charge.
You may either get together with some pals and do it yourself in this circumstance, or you can seek for an existing group to join.
Both have their benefits and drawbacks, and I’ve done both.
With a group of friends, doing it yourself is the most affordable option, and if you all go picking at the same time, it can be a lot of fun. However, certain practicalities need to be worked out.
Since 350 kg is not a small load that may fit in a car boot, the olives must be transported in proper containers. Is someone available throughout the week who could deliver the oil to the press and pick it up the following day? You’ll need a container to share the squeezed oil with everyone.
Joining an organization that has already been created is easier, though more expensive. You might anticipate paying a membership fee since joining is often necessary to participate. Local groups may accept a portion of your oil for fundraising or other purposes.
Therefore, even though a lower press rate would surely increase your profits, you’ll spend more and get less oil. However, someone else will take care of the planning and transportation.
Step 2: Determine how many olives you’ll need
To create oil, a lot of olives are required. The typical production of oil from olives is between 9 and 15%. This indicates that 10 kg of olives might provide 1 litre of oil.
Several variables affect yield. These consist of the following:
- variety: there are between 50 and 100 different varieties of olives, some of which are better for oil production than others (known as table olives), and thousands of varieties worldwide;
- rainfall/water: shriveled olives may be better for oil, while giant “swollen” olives soaked with water don’t contain more oil than little ones;
- Season, or the time of year, which fluctuates every year depending on the weather (late spring implies delayed harvest);
A commercial press will work better than attempting to create olive oil at home using a blender, the kind of press utilized.
Therefore, start by estimating how much oil you’d want to consume while choosing olives. 20 kg of olives makes 2 liters of oil (roughly). For a whole year, you would need 12 liters, or 120 kilograms, of olives, or one liter every month.
Step 3: Book the press
You should start by doing the thing you need the least. You can’t simply show up with 350 kg of olives at an olive press and hope they have room for you! Picked raw olives don’t keep well in storage. Before you go to the media, you need to be aware that your seat is reserved.
It becomes crowded during the olive season since everyone wants their olives to be crushed simultaneously. (Mid-March to early June in Perth.)
We even reserved a press a year in advance to ensure a space. I advise making reservations as soon as you can.
You’ll also need to commit to the amount when you make a reservation. Although there is some flexibility, it hurts the press operators when someone promises 2 tonnes but only delivers 300kg. If you arrive with more than you pledged, certain presses may charge you.
Once you know the date, you may start getting ready for the harvest. Throughout the years I’ve been doing it, we have always set the press for a Monday so that all pickings may occur over the weekend.
Step 4: Find olives
It’s a good idea to research your possibilities before choosing the weekend. Finding olive trees in people’s yards or on public property is what is meant by this.
(Even though verge trees are legally on public property, I include them as people’s yards since often the homeowners tend to the trees to select the olives. Before harvesting olives from the edge, always consult a neighbor.
Many individuals don’t use olives since they take a lot of time to prepare. Many people detest the mess and stains that black olives leave behind; removing them is also helpful.
Finding olives may include riding a bicycle or driving about the neighborhood in search of loaded olive trees, then calling on the door or leaving a message in the mailbox.
Alternatively, it can include inquiring on social media, such as community sites, whether anybody has some olives, they won’t use.
(I do this, but there’s a little more danger involved since one person’s “heaps” could just be the size of a yogurt container. Or maybe there are piles five meters above the earth.)
On the other hand, you could be fortunate, and they’ll trim the tree for you!
Avoid trees near busy highways since they will emit more exhaust fumes.
Olive trees typically produce well every two years; thus a tree that has a huge crop one year could not produce much the next year. So you can’t depend on the winners from the previous year.
Step 5: Picking olives
After being plucked, olives have a limited shelf life (no more than three days). Therefore, ALL of the pluckings must be done in the few days before the press.
The best course of action is to clear your schedule if you’ve committed to a manageable number of olives.
I often agree to 84 to 96 kilos. I usually choose a number that is a multiple of 12 so that I can conceive of it in buckets since the buckets I use to carry around 12 kg apiece. I committed to 96 kilograms this year, equivalent to 8 buckets. Despite modest variations in weight.
I have an arrangement with the community garden I’m picking up this year that requires me to give them 15% of the olives I collect.
91 kg of the 107 kg of olives I collected will be processed into olive oil for me. 9 liters of oil should be plenty for the whole year. These olives all together:
What olives to choose:
As they mature, olives turn from green to black.
The best olives to choose from are green and purple since they taste better and produce more.
Entirely green olives may still be harvested. They have a smaller yield and a greater flavor with pepper. They are also the most difficult to harvest since shaking the tree won’t cause them to fall.
Although fully purple or black olives are relatively mild, they often have less oil than mixed-color olives. They combine well with green olives and are quite simple to select.
Olives that have wrinkles but aren’t fully shriveled are also acceptable if the creases result from a lack of water rather than from being overripe.
Quantity is important when harvesting olives, particularly in a communal environment. Everyone makes their choice of anything they can find. Of course, there are no nasty, mushy, or moldy olives.
(Producers of commercial olive oil would be much pickier.)
Picking everything produces in a lesser yield than if just oil olives were selected at the ideal moment. Still, the oil often has an excellent flavor since the green, black, mixed-color, and other sorts of olives meld together to balance one another.
How to choose:
I won’t teach you how to choose since everyone has their own method. My acquaintance uses rakes and believes there is no other way to do it. (She harvested 180 kg this past season, proving that it’s working for her.) The olives actually fall into a sheet as you rake them and you scoop them up.
Although I’ve given the rake option a few tries, I don’t enjoy it.
With one hand, I strip the olive branches so they fall into the giant yogurt tub on the other, and with the other, I decant the olives into the enormous bucket. I then fasten a large yogurt tub with a handle over my wrist. It is quicker than everything else I’ve tried and works for me.
To gather olives that have fallen, use a tarp.
A ladder usually comes in handy.
Step 6: Start to press
I must admit that after doing this for more than 7 years, I’ve never gone to press by myselt. I am aware that sometimes the driver has to wait and return the oil on the same day, and other times they have had to come back later in the week to collect. It simply depends on how busy they are, in my opinion.
Large containers must be available for the press to pour the olive oil into.
Step 7: packaging
Unfiltered oil from the press retains sediment, which indicates it only contains safe natural fruit waxes. Before decanting, the oil should ideally be allowed to settle for 4 to 6 weeks in a cold, dark environment.
The majority of individuals keep their olive oil in wine bottles. They are a practical size for use in the kitchen, simple to find and clean, and a fair size. Clear glass is not preferred over dark glass.