With the falling of the autumnal leaves also comes our highly anticipated annual olive harvest. To celebrate such an important time for Olively, we thought we could run through the process which brings about the basis for our products.
The olive farm is located in the Alt Emporda region, which is known to have the Argudell variety of olive, however we use the beautiful Arbequina olive. The arbequina variety are known for their fragrant flowers and produce fleshy olives which can be eaten or used to make flavourful olive oil.
Throughout the year the olive trees receive a pruning and some extra vitamins just after the annual harvest, in December. We don’t tend to interfere with their natural growth and only use ecological products, in doing so we protect the natural integrity of the olives.
Each harvest relies heavily on the weather. This year, having seen less rainfall than usual, it has been difficult to predict when the perfect time to harvest the olives will be. You may wish to let them ripen further, however if the weather turns and the wind is too strong it can cause the olives to fall to the ground at which point they are not usable.
The process of retrieving the olives starts with Joan, our tractor driver, who worked tirelessly for days collecting olives. The collection process is somewhat hypnotic to watch as the tractor propels an umbrella around each tree and shakes it vigorously to release the season’s olives.
Following the collection, our team of Joan, Enric and Eusevi take the olives to the manufacturers to turn them into our extra virgin olive oil. At the Societat Agricola Siurana, is where Albert and his father Joan then take the next step by putting the olives through a thorough clean with only water. And finally, the olives are squashed in a circular motion for 45 minutes to squeeze all the flavour and nutrients out of them.
Once the olive oil is pressed, it has to sit for a few days, during which the olive oil changes in colour, from a strong green to soft green, it is then packaged in its tin can. We opt for the tinned packaging specifically in order to protect it from the sun light, as well as being an environmentally friendly packaging option since the aluminium can be recycled endlessly. Our extra virgin olive oil is then available to consume in its pure form or as a core ingredient in our range of Olively products. You can shop the Olively extra virgin olive oil here.