Saturday, November 30, 2013

Go Panda go

Still busy picking olives here in Umbria.

At the end of the picking day then the roads are filled with old Fiat Panda's packed with an assortment of tired pickers, olive nets and crates packed with olives. Some on the way to olive mills and some taking tired souls back home for the comfort of a warm fire and a relaxing bath.

This evening I left the house to take another load of olives to the mill. The track from the house is fairly steep and I had heard an unknown vehicle struggling upwards obviously laden with olives from a days picking.

Following possibly a little to close behind I came across an Ape (a example below)
obviously making its second attempt to get up the final twisty curve of our track. The high pitched note of the engine and a cloud of blue smoke serenaded a successful attempt to the summit of the track.

Following behind I noticed the said Ape was full of olives but had originally had a driver and two passengers - the passengers had been ditched for the final attempt. Talk about overloaded.

I really fancy getting one of these. They seem to be really great workhorses.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Olio nuovo arriva

Off to the Frantoio tomorrow to press another haul of olives into a lovely drop of cold pressed, unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil from Casa Margherita.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Olive handcuffs

I have found out that one of the largest olive mills or Frantoi in the area works in the following way.

It itself has no substantial olive groves so relies on many small olive grove owners to sell their olives to them so they can sell olive oil bearing their name. Nothing uncommon about this.

What they do however is not pay for the fruit for 12 months or until the next years harvest. These appalling terms means that the mill owner maximizes his cashflow as the expense of the small olive grove owners who cannot leave and take their fruit elsewhere as they would not be paid for the previous year - olive handcuffs.

Keep the serfs down.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Festivol a Trevi

This weekend is the annual 3 day festival celebrating the new season's olive oil - olio nuovo. Many of the local olive oil producers exhibit their new oils in Villa Fabri in the centre of Trevi.

Casa Margherita is one of the exhibitors and I am delighted to say that after two days we have sold the all the oil produced from our first pressing. I am well chuffed as they say.

We will celebrate tonight and then tomorrow its back to picking for the next pressing on Thursday.