Our first olive harvest in 2001 taught us a lot. We bottled 125 litres of extra-virgin olive oil. Pruning, fertilizing, and turning the soil produced 9 quintale (900 kilos, over 2000 pounds) of olives in 2002 (about 150 litres of oil). In 2003, due to harsh weather conditions (early spring freeze, summer drought), we only harvested enough olives to get 10 litres of oil. Last year treated us better with over 1000 kilos (over 2200 pounds of olives) and 200 litres of oil. In the typical Tuscan way, we will refrain from making predictions (we don’t want to jinx ourselves), but, let’s just say each year gets better and better.
We will probably spend two to three days harvesting. Each day after breakfast, we begin picking the olives. Nets are spread under the trees, baskets tied around our waists, and olives are picked by hand. Lunch will be an energy-replenishing home-cooked meal. If you get tired of picking, you can always take a break in your room, or lend a hand in the kitchen. You will see the olives from tree to table and will be able to taste the truly unique moment when the olive oil is at its ultimate…just pressed and drizzled on a fire-toasted slice of bread.
We are very proud of our oil and pleased to share one of our year’s best moments, La Raccolta, our olive harvest.
Pamela Sheldon Johns