Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why they are going to this

This is a common sight in may olives groves here in central Umbria. The owner has taken the decision to reduce the tree to one single trunk.

The main driver of this decision is the shortage of labour come harvest time. In years gone by come harvest time a grove owner was able to call upon the extended family to help with the harvest. Nowadays lots of Italian children have left the family home and the family is more dispersed and so not available to call upon at harvest time.

So if you are like our neighbour, Mario, and have 5,000 trees and there are only two of you available to pick then the decision to go to one trunk is easy. Then you are able to use a machine to pick. This puts a net around the tree and then grabs the trunk and shakes it vigorously to shake the olives off.

The downside of this is that you have to wait until the fruit is less attached to the tree. This meant for some of our neighbours not picking until December whereas we at Casa Margherita started in late October. I think this is a great downside to this process and that our oil tastes better as it is in optimum condition when we pick as we continue to pick by hand.

Try our oil and see at

1 comment:

  1. We would definitely agree with you that the oil from olives picked by hand is superior, as that is how we do ours:)