It’s Harvest Time! - 2020/21 Harvest Diary
Milling Diary October 02, 2020 - November 15, 2020
October 02, 2020 - Oh it’s a glorious time of the year! Crisp fall air, sunny days and our fruit is ready for harvesting! It’s a fantastic crop year! We were a little worried given the dry spring and summer and the overall struggles 2020 has brought us! But our beloved olive trees did not disappoint one bit! Just look at those olives! Plump, firm and succulent! We are out in full force picking each olive by hand ensuring they are in perfect condition and ready to be milled into spectacular EVOO!
October 15, 2020 - It's a busy one! We have been going full steam for over a week now! That means harvesting all day and milling our olives into EVOO 24 hours a day! It is crucial that we don't let the olives wait for milling more than 24 hours from when they were picked off the tress as that would negatively impact the quality of our EVOO! So we keep going! Satisfied but tired! There is no greater satisfaction then the smell of fresh, fragrant Nocellara del Belice Evoo in the air! It has a way of perking you up, similar to a good espresso! But we still love our espresso break time as well!
October 22, 2020 - Still hopping! It's been great seeing all our farmers in action again! We are in a full swing of things! Forklifts and tractors perform their synchronized dance in our yard which consists of emptying full olive bins and loading empty ones to use for harvest! They glide around each other with precision and experience. A clean and organized yard is essential to ensure the most efficient and safe work environment. We are losing track of what day it is and we don't even notice the sound of the milling machines anymore. It is great to be part of such a dedicated team, although be it a tired but fulfilled team. Here is our supervisor Domenico dozing off for a moment! Caught him in the act!
October 30, 2020 - The weather has been fantastic and the olives just keep rolling in. Everyone agrees this year, despite the lack of rain in the spring, the olives are plenty and of excellent quality. Every year the harvest will be different and even the flavour of the EVOO will be slightly different from year to year! This year, it is fantastic, full of flavour and natural fragrance. It motivates us to keep going! It is important that the olives don't sit in the yard for longer than 24 hours as this will impact the quality of the EVOO. So we press on! It's what we prepare for all year long! Just look at them! When you are working with such beautiful fruit its easy to stay motivated and happy!
November 10, 2020 - The rush has subsided. Most of the farmers have finished harvesting their crops. There are a few who are just starting now however! Every farmer has their own "right" way of growing and harvesting their olives. Some prefer waiting until November until they even begin harvesting. Others like to harvest when the olives are predominantly green whereas others feel the best time to harvest is to wait until the olives begin to change color. Every farmer has his own trade secrets that have been passed down throughout generations and each farmer is certain that their methods are the best! This may cause for some interesting discussions at the coffee bar, but there is one thing we all agree on: no chemicals and always harvest by hand! These are two committments we will never betray as they safeguard our trees, our land, our health and our future! We owe it to the next generations!
November 28th, 2020 - Things have slowed down and we have taken the opportunity to get caught up on paperwork and maintenance. Traditionally, one of the last mills of the season that we do is also one of the most exciting and anticipated ones of the year: Our Fruit/Chili Pepper blends! Ironically, it was the only milling day where the weather was not cooperating! Our mill is solar powered and due to the storm, our power went out several times today! It was a very long day, but we got it done! We milled our last batch of olives with fresh mandarins, lemons and oranges! Our very last batch was milled with a special combination of spicy chili peppers! The infusion of fresh milled olives combined with fresh citrus fruits its incredible! The fragrance and flavour of this combination is out of this world! Absolutely delicious! It's also the perfect time for us to load up on our Vitamin C !
The evening finished with a hail storm! It was a very memorable way to wrap up this year's milling season!
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