Yay, favorite time of the year has started. Olive picking. But we had a rough start since we wanted to harvest earlier but we couldn't since there was no olive press willing to open. And since this year is not a good year for Portugal the olive presses had a hard time opening because they needed to buy olives to start and somehow this wasn't working out. So since our Manzanilla was destroyed by the olive fly we managed to work well with lagar Dentinho so they could test their machines by a first run of olives and we could then finally start picking. We never ever pick before we know we can press because as soon as the olive is from the tree the "fermentation" of the fruit starts and for making oil you want to prevent this from happening. It is very important therefore to get to the press within 24-48 hours. Preferably even sooner but realize this: An average handpicker picks about 100 kilos per day and 100 kilos is not enough to press. We need minimum quantities of 500 kilos for presses to work well. And with working in teams of about 5/6 friends we managed to do batches of about 700 kilos after 24 hours.
Besides some olive fly issues we are incredibly proud at what we were able to get. Upto 16% yield on Picual & Arbequina oils and high quality table olives from Galega.
This years harvest is picked by:
Marije (Dutch), Guilherme (Portuguese), Benjamin (Dutch, 3 years), Matilda (Portuguese, 10 months) Olegario (Portuguese), Annabella (Alentejana), João (Portuguese), Marjolijn (Dutch )
Picual (dog, Serra de Estrela)
Anouk (Dutch), Fernando (Brazilian), Felix (German), Lorenzo (Italian), Louisa (Portuguese/Spanish), Ruud (Dutch), Irene (Surinam), Hannah (UK/Wales), Ella-Rae ( Portuguese, 1 year), Ethan (UK/Wales) Pedro (Portuguese) Ricardo (South African) , António (Portuguese) & Pedro (Portuguese)
Full moon harvest Picual
All I'm saying is 3 ladies, some hot wine. a jeep and a tractor lighting some trees. Best picking time ever! Thanks girls! We had a blast and I'm convinced that it made a difference in the flavor and quality of this years Picual.
The official faq's and figures will follow soon after the oil is tested and qualified but I want to thank all the pickers, babysitters and friends for amazing time and help!