Olive harvest and processing

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DannyB
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Olive harvest and processing

Postby DannyB » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:31 pm

we have recently bought a property near Coin. We have 1/2 a dozen olive trees. I am not particularly interested in harvesting them to sell, but would like the "conceit" of having ,and giving away, my own olive oil.
The property is not registered with the local co-op, as far as I can see the trees have not been harvested for 10 yrs or more.
What I think I want is a small artisan mill who is used to dealing with a few sacks and giving people back their own oil.
Does anyone know of such a place, or am I barking up the wrong tree.
Also: we can only get out here in December this winter, is this too early for harvesting.
Dan

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Enrique
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby Enrique » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:19 pm

Hi DannyB,
The locals have been harvesting the olives late November onwards.

The past few years the Harvest has been below average so you may find the amount you get from 6 trees not worth the effort to get processed in to "your" oil.
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olive
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby olive » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:36 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum.

Good idea to make your own oil. Enrique is quite right that you won't get much from six trees . Without seeing them it is hard to predict what they will yield. A manky tree might have six kilos and a mighty tree 80 to 100 especially if we ever get any more rain. Lets say yours give 10 each being conservative, so sixty in total. The mill will turn that into very approx 12 litres of oil. Don't know the charges but might be a flat rate plus a per kilo charge which might make your oil a bit uneconomic (precious?)

Now some practicalities. yes there are mills that process olives from drop in customers. The only one I know of in our area is near Villaneuva Alagaidas.( kilometres from you). If you asked at your local olive oil co-op they would know the nearest place for you. Timing your harvest is tricky , too early and they aren't ready and too late and they all fall off in the gales we get. Ideally you need to be just taking olives off your trees without any fallen olives mixed in.The best way to know is to watch when the locals with the same type of trees harvest. There are 100's of different varieties. Ours are mainly hoji blanca and harvesting commences in Feb to March ( and April sometimes). In Enrique's area they harvest much earlier. If your trees have been neglected then pruning will get them back into shape and productivity. We co op members have to be licensed to prune our own trees ( the ten day @8 hours course was free at least) but you won't need to be. Now the not so good. Olives are suceptible to olive fly bug and some other stuff which is held at bay by liberal sprayed doses of evil pesticide which you should't be allowed to buy unless you are trained in the handling and use. If you catch the bug( making your own oil ) then the best way round that issue is to get a local to spray your trees as they pass by theirs for a few euros or you could just accept a poorer crop. You will double your crop approx if you have the luxury of surplus water to irrigate them.

Actual harvesting for you will be just a net on the floor and a fibreglass pole

Hope that helps. Let us know how you get on in a few months time.

DannyB
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby DannyB » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:26 pm

Many thanks, the trees and olives look healthy and the amount of crop looks comparable to the looked after trees locally, but the trees are pretty massive and unkempt.We are lucky in having fairly moist ground. There was still some seepage from the plot in mid june but it is all quite dry now.

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Enrique
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby Enrique » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:35 pm

Hi DannyB,
Sorry I got called away before finishing my Post........Olive has covered most of what I was going to say, Thanks Olive.

As a minimum you will need Olive poles, fibre glass type are light and you can get a 2.5mtr one for the high branches, a shorter one for the low stuff, its a brushing action. Nets under the trees and a centre cloth/sack to keep the olives out of the trunk area, if you're on a slope you will need to peg up the lower side of the nets.
I can't see the need for a hand held shaker for the amount of trees you have.
We prune every two years( April/May), I get a local pro pruner in. I also use a local olive pro to do the spraying, he keeps a eye on the Junta notices regarding when/what to spray.
You will need to cut the suckers from the trunks end September/October time. Smooth the drip circles around the trees.
Basically you follow the locals for the timing of what to do, they will be pleased that you take an interest in the Noble Olive.
I find it great fun doing the trees. We use our local family run mill in the nearby village, exchange our olives for oil and huesos (olive stones turned in to pellets during the processing) to burn in our central heating boiler.
Our olive type is Picual, we are at circa 850- 1000mtr on a mountain and well inland, so your timings may vary in your area.
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby Daisymay1 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:51 pm

Also new to olive trees and ours have been neglected, ours looked great until a couple of weeks ago and now they look lumpy !! They are turning purple too. Any ideas ?

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Enrique
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby Enrique » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:27 pm

Hi Daisymay1,

" now they look lumpy"............please post a picture.......use .........no need to Login

https://postimages.org/

Turning Purple....that's OK and expected......... :D

I'd chat to a local Olive Farmer and get him to have a look.............. :idea:
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby Gasman » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:31 pm

Turning purple alreaddy is a bit early ... should have a few more weeks before that, but if they are going purple it could just be the natural process of ripening. Green olives, if not picked for pickling/preserving, will go on to ripen into black olives, turning purple on the way. If they are "lumpy" does this mean that they have a tiny bughole in them which is now dimpling the surface (Olive fruit fly), and this can cause premature ripening. OR are they a bit wrinkly and dried up (some of ours are doing this!!) because of extreme heat and lack of rainfall - even daily watering does not seem to avoid this completely. We are hoping that ours will fatten up and lose their wrinkles WHEN it rains, and before they ripen. If you have bugholes, dimpling (a bit going rotten inside cos of the bugs) you will find that any oil made from them may taste bitter.
However do not be tempted to let them just drop to the ground and rot till next year as you will have even more bugs to contend with next year - the bugs crawl into the ground and emerge as flies next year!!! You should clear them from the ground round the trees, and, if you can, rotavate round them to disturb the ground, and then spray against the fruitfly next year - there are other posts on the forum about all that.
Now is the time to start pruning wayward/neglected trees - take of the new suckers off the stems and round the roots, take off the tall suckers out of the centre of the trees to let light and air into the middle which helps to keep bugs and fungus off. Then look at what is holding fruit now (leave them be) cut out any dead and non-healthy bits and then step back and check your overall shape.
For major final pruning after the olives have been picked and before flowering starts in the spring - The theory for old-fashioned trees is leave four main branches off the main trunk spreading out to the sides, then leave four branches on each of those, then if big enough another four branches off each of those branches till you have a nice clump at the end. Aim for each branch to lean down and out away from the trunk and trim out anything going too high.
Daisymay - I Agree with Enrique - ask a local for advice and to check the state of them. Use this year as a learning curve!

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chrissiehope
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby chrissiehope » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:46 pm

I wish we'd had all this info when we first arrived, not that we would have done the farming (as we'd already negotiated this with the previous owner), but it would have been nice to know what happens & how to look after the trees etc. Who knows, if hubby had lived & we'd retired out there as planned, we might even have taken it on !

Can I suggest a FAQ on olive/ tree care for any would be farmers ?
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Enrique
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby Enrique » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:03 am

Hi,
"I wish we'd had all this info when we first arrived"................you did you only have to chat to the local owners of the adjacent plots.

As you may have picked up on this thread Olive has a different variety to me and a different harvest season, if I worked to that timing my olives would all be in the mud and the Mills closed.
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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chrissiehope
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Re: Olive harvest and processing

Postby chrissiehope » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:30 pm

Well, yes, but at that point my Spanish was nowhere near good enough :-( - even now I struggle to understand the farmer who does our olives !
Alexandr for President (Squire for PM !)

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read (Groucho Marx)


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