How Do They Harvest Olives In Greece? But most olives in Crete are harvested by hand, using the hand rakes to free them from the branches to fall onto the nets. From here, they are gathered and placed in bins. While gathering the olives, the harvesters try to filter out as many leaves and bits of stem as possible.

How are olives harvested? Traditionally, picking olives is done by hand, even in commercial groves. Today, more growers use modern machinery to help them harvest the crop. At the lowest end of the spectrum, this may only mean using a long handled, vibrating tong to shake the olives from the branches and onto nets spread out under the tree.

What time of year are olives harvested in Greece? Greece during olive season: Travellers looking for an interactive holiday and a true taste of rural living must visit Greece during the harvest season from October to December to enjoy a unique immersive experience. Greece has a long history of harvesting olives and is an olive producing country par excellence.

What is special about olives in Greece?

These olives boast some of the world’s best olive oil. While green, also known as, the earliest stages of maturity, Cretan green olives are harvested as table olives. When black, also known as, full stages of maturity or ripe, these olives are harvested for the production of olive oil.

Is olive picking hard work?

Hand harvesting olives is hard work and takes many hands, so each year independent agricultural workers find their way to licensed farm labor contractors (FLCs) who help us bring in the crop.

What do you do with olives once picked?

The easiest and quickest way to cure olives at home is with water. In this method, the freshly picked olives are sliced or cracked to expose the interior of the fruit, and then immersed in water, which is changed once a day for five to eight days and then soaked in finishing brine with salt and vinegar.

Do olives grow in Greece?

Sixty percent of Greece’s arable land is given over to olive trees and there are about 132 million trees growing in this country of 11 million people, producing about 300,000 to 350,000 tons of oil a year. Of this, 65 percent comes from the Peloponnese.

How do you harvest olives for oil?

The high quality oils normally are obtained by hand picking the olives directly into a basket (brucatura) – the best method of all but the least efficient and so the most costly. Picking “by hand with a net” (a mano con telo) is the next best method, with 50% more production resulting than when just a basket is used.

Can you eat olives straight off the tree?

Are olives edible off the branch? While olives are edible straight from the tree, they are intensely bitter. Olives contain oleuropein and phenolic compounds, which must be removed or, at least, reduced to make the olive palatable.

How are commercial olives cured?

Harvested olives must be “cured” to remove the bitterness in order to make them palatable. The most common curing processes use brine, dry salt, water, or lye treatments. During these curing processes the water-soluble oleuropein compound is leached out of the olive flesh.

What season are olives?

Olive trees generally bloom in May, with small cream-colored flowers blossoming throughout the orchards, and continue to grow and start to ripen throughout the summer. Harvesting begins in the early Fall while the olives are still green in color, but are starting to darken.

What is the difference between Kalamata olives and black olives?

Black olives are generally smaller than Kalamata olives. They are squatter and more of the traditional olive shape that you would imagine. Black olives also have a much stronger taste. Their flavor really packs a punch, whereas Kalamata olives are much more subtle.

Are olives Greek or Italian?

Olive trees are among the oldest cultivated trees in history, supporting Mediterranean civilizations for at least 6,000 years. Though it’s speculated that the first wild olive trees were from Syria, it was the Greeks who first cultivated olives.

Are black olives Greek?

Black Greek olives are one of Greece’s most popular table olive varieties. These olives are known for their purple to black hue, soft meaty texture, and tart, tangy, slightly acidic flavor reminiscent of red wine vinegar. Black Greek olives are of the Conservolia variety, which grows mainly in Central and West Greece.

How are olives picked in Spain?

Pickers will harvest the olives by hand. Usually batting all they can to the ground, then they hand pick some bunches and use ladders to get to those they cannot reach from the ground. The olives are stored in plastic buckets or burlap sacks when picking.

Do birds eat olives off the tree?

Olives are a good source of energy for birds, being rich in oil, and a wide variety of European birds from thrushes to finches consume the fleshy fruit in the Mediterranean (Levinson & Levinson 1984).

How do you know when green olives are ready to pick?

Pick the olives when they nearly ripe, when they have begun to change colour from green to pinkish purple but are not fully black. When most of the crop have become this colour, harvest all the olives off the tree. It is best to begin the pickling process straight away.

Do all olives turn black?

And in many cases, you either love or hate this small-sized fruit, or you may prefer a particular variety. It may surprise you to learn that the only difference between green olives and black olives is ripeness; unripe olives are green, whereas fully ripe olives are black.

How many olives does Greece produce?

Greece is the third largest olive-oil producing country in the world, after Spain and Italy. Did you know? There are 120,000,000 olive trees in Greece or, to put things in perspective, 12 olive trees for every Greek citizen.

Are olives cured before pressing?

Unfortunately, in reality, fresh olives are abrasive and bitter when picked. Before landing on your plate, they have to undergo a curing process – that’s the only way to bring out the texture and flavor inherent to each variety.

How long do olives take to ripen?

Fruit takes from 6 to 8 months to ripen with some table olives being harvested while still green while olives like Kalamata are left until they are black and fully ripe. Olives on the same tree ripen at different times so olives for oil are generally harvested when the majority are turning from yellow to brown.

How often are olives harvested?

In general, the olive harvest takes place between October and February. But it all depends on the time of year when the fruit ripens: from one geographical area to another, this period can be very different because of the sunshine and the exposure conditions.