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Fresh air on the olive farm this weekend?

Posted by dublinmike-182617 - Created: 14 years ago
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Hi folks,

It's that time again.....we'll it isn't really because that time should be sometime late November. But because of the hot summer the olives are asking to be removed from the trees right now!!

So we're forced to harvest right away. Does anyone fancy popping out to La Grave De Peille this weekend to sharpen your eyesight and fall off ladders while helping to pick some olives??

We asked the same question last year and lots were interested but the purchase of the place was slightly delayed and we couldn't do it. If you fancy trying again we're up to our necks in it this weekend.

It's a 300 year old olive estate 15kms from Nice which we're in the process of renovating. That includes the trees too, but in spite of not having been looked after for 25 years they insist on producing vast quantities. Many of the trees are originals and are that old!!

We plan on harvesting only about 30 or so trees, or whatever is available easily. But that's quite a bit and we're novices having only been here 9 months. One of our neighbours is director of operations!!

They are the relatively rare Calletier trees, commonly known as 'Olive De Nice' and the oil is terrific. If you feel like helping out all we can offer is some Extra Virgin oil after the pressing (after Mark D gets hit bottle), a nice lunch, plenty to drink and a bit of fun. We're not taking it too seriously this year.....it's a 5 year project.

Drop me an email or just turn up!! We're starting 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings and it's WEATHER PERMITTING, so if it's teeming down.....the game is off till next weekend.

You'll find a map, phone numbers and directions here: http://www.celticproductions.net/labastide/maps/

We'll look forward to meeting you.

Regards,

Mike & Sarah

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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 14 years ago

HI RS,

I don't know where you live but certainly in the Paillon valley all the mills are open. Try R. Guido in Borgheas....great little mill and nice fella.

Having said that there are not too many farms with olives ready, I know our old trees are bursting and almost falling over, but some of our neighbours have only had tiny little shrivelled things that have blown off. It sounds like you have old trees too or have been giving them lots of water.

I'm not an expert, so I'm just passing on the local knowledge I've picked up.

I susggest you have to do this the hard way. Try to harvest by hand all the super ripe black olives for eating. They have to be perfect, no lumps, bumps, holes etc. Put them in plastic bins with 80grms of salt per kilo and cover them in water. Wash them thoroughly every couple of weeks and repeat until they taste scrummy! Put them in sealed jars in their own last washed brine and voila.

Put nets (Dalmasso on the RN202, 150 euro for a half roll) down so that you can catch the olives that are tumbling and keep them to one side for a 'mill melange', where all the questionable olives from everyone are lashed in together to make what usually becomes the 'house' oil. It'll be high acidity, but you'll keep opening new bottles and it's really quite good. Bring them to the mill in 20 kilo or so loads once a week.

Then when it looks and feels right, ring the mill and say I'm coming wednesday with xxx kilos, and harvest the lot, lock stock and barrel. From 43 trees you should get at the very very very least 100 litres. You should have enough to do a single estate pressing of your own.

Saturday it rained very heavily but 8 people turned up to help so we went out to lunch instead! Great fun. Sunday started very damp so we just cleared the ground under some bountiful trees ready for nets during the week and a big harvest next week/end.

Regards,

Mike

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Posted by rivierasun - 14 years ago

Hi Mike,

How did the harvest go? Do you have a mill?  do you intend to press them yourself?

If not what do you intend to do with them until the mills open?

The reason for asking is that I have 43 trees full of olives, but the mills dont open until November and my olives are very ready, every time there is a puff of wind they are falling, and I am loosing so many.  I am picking some up, to pickle them but I really want them for the oil, I think there are a lot of people in the same boat.

What are you going to do, mabe you can give me some ideas, we have worked so hard to get a good crop and dont want to loose them.

 

 

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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 14 years ago

Sure they are, we have a whole valley for them! But (Sat) it's raining heavily here so games off today.

If the sun bursts forth tommorrow..........

Regards,

Mike

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Posted by Robiva - 14 years ago

We would love to help out.

Are dogs invited too ?

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Posted by eob - 14 years ago

I would be interested in giving you a hand, but I am delayed in getting to CDZ this year. Keep me in mind. (By the way was I on a Flight with you from Dublin Nice last Jan, you were in the yacht business?)

 

tia