Handpicked and Heartcrafted Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Discover the journey from tree to table with our homegrown olive oil production, crafted with care and dedication from our family’s olive trees.

In 2017, unlike in 2016, our olive trees yielded a significant harvest, prompting us to produce our own olive oil.

We spent days collecting the olives by hand, filling our baskets. For trees that were difficult to access, we indeed used traditional methods. However, a local friend, Damien (pictured here), lent us his machine—a large, spider-like tool on top of a carbon stick, powered by electricity. This machine shakes the branches rapidly, making the process much faster, albeit still requiring some technique and effort.

Once the olives fall into the net placed around the tree, we gather and transfer them into boxes. The next step involves sorting out branches and bad olives from the good ones—a time-consuming task that took us two full days.

Even my mother, who initially came just to say hello, ended up helping for a few hours. It truly required the hands of the entire family—well, except for our little one, who’s not quite ready yet!

The Olive Milling Process

After collecting and sorting the olives, we took them to the olive mill to witness the transformation into olive oil. Here’s a glimpse of the process:

  1. Cleaning: The olives are placed into a large box, lifted, and cleaned with clear water.
  2. Crushing: Heavy stones crush the cleaned olives into a paste.
  3. Layering: The paste is then spread onto fiber disks, which are stacked in alternating layers.
  4. Pressing: The stacked layers are pressed slowly to extract the olive oil and water, which collect in a basin below.
  5. Filtering: The liquid is filtered to separate any remaining solids.
  6. Separation: Finally, the liquid is pumped through pipes into a machine that separates the water from the oil. Water exits on the right, and bright, fresh olive oil pours out on the left.

Our first batch of olive oil is a vibrant green, almost fluorescent. It’s rich and strong in taste, slightly bitter, yet fruity with a spicy finish. While it needs a few months to decant, it’s already full of polyphenols and ready to enjoy.

Interesting Insights

Through conversations with others during the process, we learned a few fascinating facts:

  • Olive trees tend to alternate between high-yield and low-yield years.
  • Picking olives earlier in the year yields more water; later picking results in olives with less water but more oil.
  • Watering olive trees in summer may make the olives bigger and more water-filled, but it doesn’t necessarily increase oil content.

Our olive oil journey has been a rewarding and educational experience, and we’re excited to share the fruits of our labor with you.