All around the area we stay in here in Umbria, you can see and hear the olive harvest going on.
For the last two weeks or so, it's gotten busy. We watch trailers full of olives go by, on the way to the mill...we watch folks picking by hand or machine...young and old. It's fascinating!
Here at The Nut, we had a long, hard day of picking ourselves. Fifteen trees in about seven hours. Carlo our landlord, Johnny and I worked our fannies off! There were moments when I wanted to call it a day and quit, but we just pushed on until sunset.
First, you have to drag these massive nets and arrange them under the trees to catch all the olives...
|Me on one end, Carlo on the other...|
Once the nets are laid, we started picking. Johnny and Carlo took turns with the electric 'shaking machine'....I just picked by hand or with rastrello, the small stiff hand rake you comb through the branches.
It was a lot of hard work, with some frustrating moments, but tons of fun, too.
|Carlo with the shaking machine.|
|Johnny with the rastrello. See all the olives in the net?|
|Johnny taking his turn with the shaking machine.|
I tried, but quickly realized it would not be good for my neck or shoulders!
|Go, Johnny, GO!|
|Watching the guys work from the terrace after lunch.|
Then back to it for me, too.
|In the end, we had ten or eleven crates full.|
A couple of days later, we met Carlo at the local mill to watch the olives get mashed and turned into oil. I'm so glad we saw this part of the process!
We were in line to have ours done at about eight o'clock at night. It's a busy time at the mill, and they run very late, trying to get everyone's oil done asap.
|The mashing machine. It spins around, squishing the olives into a paste.|
Then the paste is run through a machine that gets all the excess water out.
Centrifuge, I am told.
|Next, we watched as our oil slowly came out!|
|Carlo was so happy to fill his beautiful container!|
|It smelled so good in there!|
|Pure 'Green Gold"!|
|It was a pretty good haul, I think.|
|2018 oil tucked away to be enjoyed for the next year.|