Thursday, June 20, 2013

olive harvest 2013

On Wednesday we finally picked our olives.

It was one of those icy-cold but brilliantly sunshiney winter days. We wore sunglasses for the glare and about six layers of clothing for the chill. We chatted and we laughed and we sang and we joked.

And over the course of the day we picked all the olives from our one hundred trees. 

Some of us used little hand rakes to brush the olives off onto the white ground sheets (a small section at a time just like you do with your hair straightener, my farmer boy explained to his 12 year old). Some of us picked off each olive into picking bags clicked onto our waists. 

And the last one of us, had the most important job of all of us. Farmer Bren was in charge of catering.

He made us camp-fire Turkish coffee.

And he made us pesto, cheese and last year's olives jaffles.

Everything tastes more delicious when cooked on a camp fire don't you think?!

I love days like yesterday. I love the feeling of everyone pitching in and working as a team. I love the joking and the feeling of leisure at the start that slowly becomes a rush to get it all done before dark.

And I love the olives. Big time!

There's been a lot of other stuff going on here on our farm in the last few weeks. A lot of other stuff that has taken our focus and attention and meant we left the olives a bit longer than we should have. 

The birds got possibly more than their fair share and the frost damaged a few, but we got enough to press some for oil and enough to brine for eating and that makes me happy. Really happy.

I can't imagine how exciting it'll be to have bottles of our own Daylesford Organics olive oil.

We are trying to organise to get it pressed next week. I'll keep you posted.

And I'll keep you posted about the other stuff too. Soon I hope.

I'm off now to cover the lettuces, there's going to be another frost in the morning I think.

Big love to you peeps.
May your days be brilliant and sunshiney and your olives and coffee plentiful.



  1. Yum yum yum
    I just love home grown olives

  2. Ooooh... how serendipitous! I have been asking all my (Italian) family members how they prepare their olives and when is the right time to pick them etc.. Suffice it to say the Cumbrians are now in full battle withe Umbrians and neither party can even agree to disagree!! I'm not Italian, I've never brined olives before and I WOULD NOT HAVE A CLUE where even to begin. It's only made matters worse asking people who all have "VERY STRICT RULES" about when to pick (they're no good when they're black vs i've always used black ones and they're the best) how to prep (you just HAVE to rinse them vs paaah they're form Umbria what do they know!) and what to add (salt only then spices later vs salt and spices are fine together) .... Aaaaaaaargh! Please tell me you're going to do a lovely long "Olive Brining" post with sexy photos and trustworthy advice and poetic words..... of course you are... you always do. ♥♥

    1. I use the Burkes Backyard method to great sucess. Just Google it :)

  3. Love this!! Can weirder a bottle of your D. O OLIVE OIL?? Is Viv on IG in the top pic? Xx

  4. Awesome Kate, great photos and a perfect description of this job! Your lunch looks tasty too and yes everything does taste better on the campfire! Do tell us how your oil tastes when you get back from the press.

    Tasting, bottling and using your own olive oil is something very special...I sometimes cannot believe we have got to that point ourselves. x

  5. Aren't they beautiful? I love olives. In fact, my Orla was almost an Olive! xK

  6. I'm still so impressed at how your photography has evolved. You are a true pro now!

  7. How do you know when olives are ready to be picked? Are the darker ones and green ones from the same trees? Why is there a variation in color?
    Wishing I had some olive trees........

  8. yay! all done and so satisfying. I love reading your posts about opposite weather to ours! I am on commission crochet - tough but someone has to do it! Jo x

  9. Love your blog. And the city dress - awww! Just a little handy hint for your colds - sounds odd but worked really well for my little one's coughs! 1tsp honey mixed with 1tbsp apple cider vinegar and hey presto the cough goes - well at least for the night so you can sleep. I thought it tasted yummy but my children weren't so enthusiastic. Good luck x

  10. Oh how wonderful!
    What a great team you all made, and the fact you turned it in to some fun is fabulous :) Beautiful photographs...

    Here is to some yummy olive eating in the winter sunshine!

  11. Oh that looks like my man's idea of heaven..all of it! x

  12. Pretty much everything is better around a camp fire. We did exactly the same thing in our suburban quarter acre block not long ago - olive picking, cooking on the fire - so lovely. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing it all. xxx

  13. WHat a fantastic day. My kind of heaven. Outdoors and food. The weather here is far to wet to do anything like that.

  14. I love everything about this post Kate! We make jaffles on our backyard campfire - its the best!

    The birds ate all my olives : -(

    Can't wait to see you next week! xxx

  15. Oh don't the green and deep purple of the olives look amazing! It all looks rather idyllic out there in the sunshine. :)

  16. Home grown olives are the BEST! The Baked Cheese Olives would be perfect.


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