Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Busy Days, Olive Picking and Olive Oil

I know, I’ve been a VERY bad blogger. I’ve posted very sporadically and I can’t seem to get back into the ‘groove’.

We had a very social April with lots of family coming and going and even some non-family social occasions. I’ve had two shows on since my last post … and only someone else who does shows can appreciate how much work and time they take up beforehand! I’ve also been busy running children around – to Sydney, to piano lessons, to school events. Hubby has been no better, he’s been to travelling off to seminars and meetings, having teleconferences at home (which I somehow ended up taking minutes for!?), attending the National Aerobatics Comp (he came second in Advanced) and the rest of the time busy on the farm.

The latest in the long line of things to do was to pick our olives. We have a few hundred olive trees planted on the property. Some are dryland and planted in tree lines (above), some are irrigated in the house yard (water makes SUCH a difference, the latter are huge). The photo below is post-harvest, we obviously missed a few but they are up high and we forgot the step ladder (oops).

There are some jobs you can automate, but olive picking isn’t one of them. So yesterday, hubby and I picked, by hand, our 6 heavily laden mature trees, in about 5 hours, stripping them fairly well to a height we could reach, onto sheets spread out on the ground. After tipping the sheets into tubs, we spent another hour or so picking through the 50 odd kilograms of olives and removing the branches and leaves. They looked so pretty in their tubs – a lovely mix of green and black (deep purple really) ovals.

I had to dash off into town then so hubby took them down to a neighbour who has an olive press to extract the oil. He then took cattle to the saleyards in Mudgee and returned via the neighbour with 4 very large (2-3 litres each) jars of olive oil. Its the first time we've made oil, usually I just pickle the crop for eating.

Considering the amount we use, I reckon these jars could do us for a couple of years. Note that these are almost opaque as they are unfiltered. They need to be stored for a while to let the sediment drop and then the oil is decanted from the top down. The green colour is a also a sign of fresh, first press, virgin olive oil.

To say yesterday was tiring would be an understatement. I’m so pleased to have the next couple of days at home, even though I have a ‘to do’ list that seems a mile long.

Taking off my farming hat, today’s picture is of a pair of limited edition freshwater cultured ‘keshi’ pearls, garnet and 12ct gold fill earrings.

To celebrate autumn (my favourite season of the year), I’ve decided that every purchase made up until 30 May 2011 will go in a draw to win a pair of these. What’s even better is that I will customize them completely to your preferences – peacock or white keshi pearls, a selection of coloured gems to chose from, and either sterling silver or gold fill.

So, if you’ve been thinking about a pre-winter jewellery purchase, now might be a good time and perhaps you will win a pair of earrings too!

Right, now back to that list….

Till next :)


Felicity said...


Love the jewels AND the freshly minted olive oil.
I hope that you post an 'after' photo when the bottles have settled.

I can imagine there will be some lovely tasting sessions with some fresh crusty bread, a glass of something delish and a bowl of olives = mmmmm.

xx Felicity

coffeeaddict said...

Thanks for sharing the olive picking story :-) Such gorgeous emerald colour!

ChezChani said...

Very interesting how to make olive oil. I hate olives so happy you can get something else out of them.

Those earrings are very different...gorgeous!

Cat J B said...

How lovely to make your own oil! I'm kid-sitting tonight and there are four large jars of olives sitting on the bench, not quite sure what stage they're at, but they're from the trees right outside the door. I love it!

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

How awesome you have olive trees!! Sounds like you have been one very busy lady!

Veronica Lee said...

Love the olive story.
WOW! How awesome to make your own oil!

Happy Wednesday, Annette!

Name: Holly Bowne said...

I've been a sporadic blogger as well, Annette. Like you, I've just been too busy to post as consistently as I'd like. I think it's SO COOL you have olive trees and have made your own olive oil! I was just reading up on this topic for an Italy-related writing project. I'm totally jealous!


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