Harvest

Harvest

Harvesting olive trees begins in late August through November depending upon the region, variety and desired ripeness. Since olives are picked for both eating and processing into oil, the degree of ripeness matters. All olives start out green and then gradually become rosy and finally black. Depending upon the type of oil the grower is making, a combination of all three may be used for pressing.

Traditionally, picking olives is done by hand, even in commercial groves. Today, more growers use modern machinery to help them harvest the crop.

At the lowest end of the spectrum, this may only mean using a long handled, vibrating tong to shake the olives from the branches and onto nets spread out under the tree. A little more high tech method involves tractors drawing shakers behind them or other grape harvesting machinery used in high density orchards.


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