Olive Harvest 2017

This year the harvest was bountiful, beautiful with an unseasonal warmth to it, as you will see from the following pictures!

We started on a Thursday and finished by dusk on the Sunday – 27th-30th October. It was a team effort, with the sturdy help from our amazing volunteers, Marco from Portugal and Kirsten from South Africa. Then most days we had local helpers too.

Day 1 began with a little instruction from Barbara about some basic ‘do’s and don’ts’ of harvesting and how to protect the trees.

And then the fun began….on DAY 1 we had a super team, which made a huge difference. Between dogs, people, music and good food we harvested over 400kgs in one burst! Thanks go to Billy and Roger, Jen, Rena and Albert, Rosso and Adriane, Meline, Alfonse and the little boys!

As we went along we also removed the leaves – this was an activity that was a patient work….

Some enjoyed being in the trees……

Some on the ground…..

Some on the ladders…

some using the extended comb on a stick….

and unfortunately for Barbara – from a chair! She cut her arm with a saw while pruning on day 2, but recovered enough to still be a HUGE help!

On the final day, the Sunday, we had the help from Duarte and Anne – it was a realy valuable boost, and we got done by the end of the day.

Then it was the final leaf separation and the loading of the van….

Monday morning Barbara and Emma headed to the ‘Lagar’ – the press with 1200kgs of beautiful olives!

Here are some snaps of the process….

And home we went with 190 litres of green gold!

We will sell to friends and family this year’s oil, so get in touch if you would like us to reserve some for you!!

Autumn Event: Inspired by OLIVES

We woke on the morning of the Autumn Open Event to a most beautiful sky!

Warm open-hearted welcomes as folks arrived…..

A group of over 40 came through out the day – we started with the group who came in the morning to do tours of the land…..

We had a mixed bunch, of people who have visited before, and for others it was their first encounter with the project.

The tours were in English, ‘lead’ by Eric and Emma – and the second in Portuguese with Marcia.

Thanks to the team of angel helpers we had a delicious lunch, with veggies from the garden and inspired by the olive theme and fermented recipies from Dearbhla Reynolds book, ‘Funky Ferments’.

The olive oil tasting was great fun – as we decided upon our favourites…..

Most people had a sure sense of what they ‘didn’t like’. It was amazing that neigbour Nick was ‘spot on’ with his diagnosis!

Then the ‘experts’ gave their feedback…..

We had with us professional organic olive oil producers. Luis Coutinho with his brand ‘Tojeira’ has received much attention for its high quality. Also with us, the engineer Joao Mateus with nearly 20 years experience in working with the Portuguese ministry of agriculture and most recently with Sementes Vivas.

We also had the pleasure of the experience of Miguel Fiadeiro, from the Olive Oil Co-operative in Fundao. Miguel shared and answered questions regarding the differences between the methods of pressing olives, amongst many other things!

Conversations continued about the need for a local organic press, and various solutions were discussed.

After much sharing, we got up and picked olives to demonstrate the method we use for curing our olives. One we learned from our local neighbours over 10 years ago!

As we were harvesting a few olives, out neighbour, Tia Adelina’s son, Antonio came passed – it was his MUM who had such an influence on much of what we know now about olives! It was a lovely moment.

Back in the common space, Marica demonstrated the curing process, and the knowledgeable Sr. Eduardo gave some great and easy tips.

The rest of the afternoon we carried on sharing about olive oil production and best practices while enjoying each other’s company!

We had the delight of having Stefan and Bettina of Sementes Vivas with us. They too have been promoting organic and biodynamic production of olive oil. They shared about an upcoming conference on the theme of ‘New Ruralism’. They are bringing together many of the best-known names in the world of rural development and sustainable construction. The link to the conference can be found by clicking on ‘events’ from here

Thank you to all who came and participated, shared knowledge or bought our olive oil inspired products!

Until next year….!