"If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant an olive grove" - Robert Brault
Never a truer word was spoken!..
Our olive grove is such a perfect place to work in, for most of the year... From the pruning to slashing, hedging to banding and of course, picking, there is always a reason to be out there enjoying the trees.... all 1300 of them. Who needs a gym membership when you have an olive grove!
The best times though are in September when the trees start to flower and everything bursts into life. In November when the forming of the little olives begin, to April with checking the ripeness of the olives and deciding on harvest dates, there is always something to keep us busy in the grove.
But of course the most exciting time is the harvest time. There is so much organising to be done but we have wonderful Family and friends who still love to come and help us with the picking after all these years.
Whether donning an olive apron for hand-picking or helping with the pneumatic rakes, there is always a helping hand.
It is such a wonderful couple of weekends with plenty of laughing, chatting, eating and drinking, and of course most importantly, picking! It is all go.
We have a brilliant piece of equipment – an Olinet – which catches the olives when using the pneumatic rakes. Hard "yakka" but much quicker than hand picking. Though not as much fun!
Depending on the size of the harvest we either pick our two varieties – Frantoio & Pendolino – separately or we harvest them together which then produces the Cherax Classico. Either way produces a beautifully balanced, full-flavoured Extra Virgin Olive Oil. What more could you want!
Pressing is done at the York Olive Oil Company by Arnaud Corutin & Jenny Baxter using their Pieralisi Press and once the olives are pressed our beautiful "Liquid Gold" is then stored in Stainless Steel tanks in our cool room for 2 to 3 months to settle and become clear, ready for bottling for all to enjoy!
Such is Life
The only time for resting up for us on the farm is in our Australian Summer (December to February) when it is too hot to be working on the farm and in the grove so unfortunately the only thing to do is to sit on the verandah, ice cold beer in hand and watch our wonderful trees grow. As the legend Ned Kelly said "Such is life!"
An old Tuscan proverb says
"that an olive tree is well pruned only if a swallow can fly in its branches"
Oh well, we had better put the beer down and get out there in the grove and do some more pruning!!
No rest for the wicked!