The Olive Harvest – Now in full swing in the Algarve

Our neighbours are hard at work again, no sooner have they harvested all the carobs then they start to harvest the almonds and the olives. As both methods of harvest are the same collecting both the olives and the almonds, I decided to write this post on the olives as I have already posted a photograph of almonds and therefore it wouldn’t be much fun photographing them again. Mmmmmm perhaps it would come to think of it but I’ll leave that until next year.

The harvest starts early in the morning and as the olives are very much smaller than the carobs the people use a large closely knitted net to cover the ground and collect the olives as they come tumbling to the ground. The long sticks are made good use of once again as they are needed to bash at the trees until they release their bounty.

This photo shows our neighbour José with the two different length sticks and his ladder, which I am pleased to say is a very robust one unlike some of the others we have witnessed being used.

Once all the olives have been gathered in they are bagged up and taken to a place where they are pressed and the wonderful virgin olive oil flows golden into the waiting vat whilst the owners wait for it.

In some cases the owners of the press will take as payment a proportion of the oil they have pressed and return the rest of the oil back to the person that brought the olives in. It’s a good system as you are assured to receive your own oil, something our neighbours prefer because they look after their trees in the time-honoured custom.

The taste of this oil is unlike any I have purchased and I have been very lucky these past few years, as my neighbour has given me each year a 5 litre water bottle full of this delightful nectar. I must say I feel quiet decedent when on the rare occasion I fry anything I use this extra virgin olive oil because I don’t buy any olive oil now.

16 thoughts on “The Olive Harvest – Now in full swing in the Algarve

  1. Have you done marinading in garlic and.. and .. stuff ?? making my mouth water thinking of those little plump olives with some other nice vittles ….

  2. According to my neighbour you start off by soaking them in plain water every day for a week, to get rid of some of the bitterness, then put them in brine for three months.

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