I think we picked our olives a little earlier this year. We had been undecided what to do, our crop wasn’t great with a few well ladened trees and a lot with hardly anything but it seemed wrong to leave the fruit to waste. We spoke to Giovanni our neighbour who had already started his harvest and he said we could put our minimal amount of olives with his to go to the frantoio, the mill, in the next village.
So we spent Saturday and Sunday furiously hand picking and managed to fill five crates. Monday morning we weighed in 100 kilos and the mill said it was enough for our own run, which is pleasing for everyone as we all prefer our own uncontaminated oil. We left our crop on Monday morning before the mill started working and it was Tuesday evening before we got a call from Giovanni who kindly took us in his car to collect the oil. We had produced 15 litres, Giovanni around 110 litres and he will be picking for another week with help from his family at the weekend. He told me his son takes 50 litres of his oil per year and his daughter 80, he seemed to think she likes to bathe in the stuff.
So it wasn’t our greatest result but we felt it was a fair return. Of course we made bruschetta when we got home, it wasn’t the strongest oil we’ve ever made and it didn’t have the fizziness you sometimes get for the first few days. But it is enough for another year, it’s own own production, it’s pure and it’s miles better than anything we could buy.