Here at Casa Margherita we harvest our olives in the traditional way using a net, a hand held rake and a ladder.
Come harvest time you set a net under a tree with the bottom edge rolled over so the olives do not run off. You then rake through the branches to remove the olives. This requires some effort as the olives at harvest time are still quite well attached to the tree. You then move around the tree using the ladder as and when necessary. Once all the olives have been removed you collect them all up and transfer them to a crate for transporting to the mill and then move on to the next tree.
There are various mechanical means of harvesting on the market but they all require later harvesting (with the associated loss of olive oil quality) and they all damage the tree in some way. There is also chemical harvesting. As one scientist from Unilever explained to me you can spray all the olives and then overnight they will have dropped to the ground. Not for us this one!
For the time being we will continue to harvest by hand.
#adoptanolivetree #casamargherita #extravirginoliveoil