A keen bunch of olive pickers turned out to John and Gail Riddell’s olive grove last Friday.
Armed with enthusiasm and cold drinks, friends and family set to and in about five hours’ picked about 407 kilos of fruit from 25 trees.
“It’s quite common for young trees to blow over in a big wind. Once the roots develop there is less chance of this. The Leccino variety that we picked is the most vigorous grower so is very susceptible to wind damage.”
The harvest was taken to Eureka where it was cold-pressed, yielding 45 litres of oil.
“That’s slightly better than 10% which is a good result for this type of pressing.”
Number 8 Network’s Annette Taylor helped too; it’s demanding work being on the other side of a camera.
John says a lot was learned about the tricky business of olive harvesting and systems developed. “It was great having such willing helpers, too.”
Then Tina (and other Olive Pickers) follow along afterwards and demonstrate their fast-moving fingers, deftly dropping the fruit on to the carefully prepared nets below –
These are then delivered to the Olive Leaf Removers, Lance and Trevor –
Chris moves the nets while dad John gets stuck in –
And like magic, many olives are soon collected and ready for processing –
This is an early pick, with a greater proportion of green olives to black, says John. As the picking season progresses, they’ll get riper.
And here is (most of, some were hiding amongst the olives) the Great Gordonton Olive Harvest team of 2014 –
Great work, guys!