This rainy season, which was so hard on the grapes, was also very hard on the olives. I finally decided that they were not going to ripen anymore. The olives also had a fungal disease for the first time ever. The koroneiki was particularly badly hit, on some of the trees the fruit all shrivelled up into raisins.
The above photo is last years koroneiki. Below is this years.
Some people do deliberately pick their olives this green, but I think it can produce an oil which is too acrid, at least with the koroneiki. Will be interesting to see how this years turns out.
It's been a couple of years since the kids have been to see the olive press in operation, so we all went out to have a look. Actually I get a bit of a buzz out of it myself. It's such a great example for the kids to see the whole process of producng a more abstract product than just veges- it's easy enough to see the connection between growing vegetables in the garden and eating them in their recognisable form, but oil out of a bottle bears no resemblance to the original olive. So here is the olive press in action, apologies for lack of technical terms, I really should quiz the experts a bit more. Above photo is the olives going up on the conveyor belt.
At the top of the conveyor belt they go through a big blower, which removes the leaves which go down the pipe and into a bag.
Then they get washed.
Then the olives get pressed (crushed?).
The oil separates out.
And that's the olives done for the year. I've promised them that I will actually get round to pruning them properly this year.