You may have wondered why good olive oil can be so expensive…..well I now know why! Because it is HARD WORK to make!!
A group of us (Me and Joe, LLAN, Heaven and Earth Farm and a beautiful French family) spent all day yesterday harvesting 4000 pounds of olives from an abandoned orchard not far from Nevada City. We were granted permission from the landowner to gleen the beautifully plump olives which we would be taking to Chico where they is an olive press.
We arrived at 9 am at a stunning hillside spotted with olive trees that were over 100 years old. The varieties were mainly Mission and Manzanilla. As we unloaded the gear, Amigo gave a us a brief lesson in how to harvest olives…..basically you places tarps abound the base of the trees and then with long poles (pvc pipe works well) you beat the tree and lets the olives fall down. Once you have the tree pretty well stripped you gather your olives and then sort out the leaves and twigs.
Here is Joe sorting the leaves from the olives.
Once the olives are sorted, they get dumped into the bins.
The first part of the day was so fun and easy……we filled 2 bins up and then had lunch……the second part of the day got really hard core……systems were developed and olives started coming down! LLAN really got into an olive frenzy!
At the end of the day we hand harvested 4000lbs or 2 tons of olives…..the next step will happen today……the olives are on their way to Chico where they will be pressed into liquid gold…….of specifically, golden bear olive oil.
We arrived home, very tired and very thrilled to have been a part of this awesome day!
Also, make sure to check back next week….In the Kitchen will be offering some of this very special olive oil for sale!