Autumn and olives

We have at last harvested those olive trees .. it was a busy weekend.

The Good

  • Our wonderful neighbours and friends came and helped us pick – thank you so much
  • The weather was amazing
  • We packed all of the 270kg olives harvested into hubbies car
  • He drove them to Wellsford (not me πŸ˜€ ) it’s a long drive
  • We are due to collect 38 litres of olive oil from the pressing
  • Pruning of those trees isΒ now underway

Olives 2016-1240992

The Bad

  • Try and avoid planting your trees on a hill as this makes harvest very difficult, especially when using aΒ ladder
  • If you don’t prune them they will look like our trees
  • If you don’t prune them harvest takes a LOT longer
  • Be careful that you don’t over feed them or give them too much TLC they will grow even taller
  • Make sure that you have a LOT of people helping when you pick them
  • I forgot to take photos – too busy
  • Don’t get stressed you will eventually get those olives in crates
  • Hubby was ruthless pruning one tree with a pole chainsawΒ I’m not sure what it resembles now

In saying that, thank you Andrew you never cease to amaze me!

autumn leaves-1250028

autumn at our place-1240977

My garden is missing me, I still haven’t planted my garlic yet, let alone lifted the cloche netting to check on thoseΒ brassicas.

autumn leaves-1240806

The autumn weather has been so mild lately – it is amazing to think thatΒ winter is only 3 weeks away!

running at muriwai-1240903



Sorry I really like this pumpkin!


And these macadamias


Happy gardening – I hope you are doing better than I am!

74 thoughts

  1. I hardly know where to begin to say how much I like your lovely photos – doggies, olives, leaf-strewn walkway, flower, pumpkin. Okay, enough of my likes already. 38 litres of olive oil? Wow. Do you press them in a thingamijiggy like what people use to make cider?

    • Hey Cynthia oh thank you glad you like the pics. The press that we have sent our olives to is a new one and can do 500kg per hour. Sorry, no idea if this is the same as used for cider. Time for a Google! πŸ˜€

  2. I was expecting a photo of the pole saw pruned tree or something like that for “The Ugly”! But there was only “The Good”, “The Bad” and great photos! The third photo of the landscape with trees is simply amazing. Wow! Congratulations on the olive harvest. Do you bottle and sell the oil or sell in it bulk? So what kind of “thingamijiggy” do you use to press olives? I don’t expect you have a bunch of buxom, barefooted women stopping on them like do with grapes in Spaghetti Westerns?

    • Hey Tim … no I cry every time I look at the tree. Still you never know! LOL Glad you like the pics. It sure was a great harvest. No we don’t sell the oil, just use it ourselves and give it away to friends and neighbours. I haven’t seen the new press, but it can handle 500kg per hour. Not bad ah? πŸ˜€

      • Sound like it would have made a good ugly photo. 500kg per hour? Wow! That would take a lot of buxom, barefooted women to match that!

  3. Oh the autumn looks so very beautiful! Makes me want to hurry summer up to get to the autumn. It really is my favourite time of the year and so I feel very lucky that I get one with you and one over here eventually. And, oh my gosh! Is that what a macadamia nut pod looks like? I was wondering about that not too long ago. It just dawned on me that I have no idea what the tree or fruiting body look like, or how the nuts fit in the fruiting body. When they come ripe and it’s time to harvest the nuts, could you possibly take a photo of one of the pods cracked? I’d love to see it. Our spring here has been so very warm that summer is here unseasonably early. I’m fine with that because it means roses, irises and peonies all for an early and extended time. Oh, and the lilac that my girls gave me for mother’s day bloomed for me for the very first time in three years that I’ve had it! How lucky is that? So I’m off now to revel in your beautiful autumn photos again. Also, lovely beach photos of the crazy happy pups! πŸ˜€

    • I love autumn too … it is my favourite time of year no doubt about it. And this autumn is so mild! I sure will take a pic of the macadamia when it splits open. Rats love them too .. I have no idea how they manage to drag them about let along chew through the casing. Glad you enjoyed the pics V … and I’m pleased your lilac is blooming. Gorgeous

  4. Hi good shots as usual a good look at Autumn in NZ . I suppose if I was there Andrew would be saying Dad could you go and clear the path and drains of leaves etc! Now about the olives yes a very good crop but why can’t I use the oil? Can’t use the garlic now the oil , Think Faros is going to be my first stop! Just wait till the trees Andrew planted last year come into fruit,you won’t have any time to do any thing but picking. Just as well you haven’t got the grapes there. Well it’s getting warmer now had two days of rain so not getting into the garden. But it’s sunny this morning so will have a go at planting out although they say it’s getting colder for the weekend. Trying to get rid of a lot of ivy just every where if left alone. Bulbs are still in flower so just have to wait for them to die down in the pots and ground,lovely when in flower but a mess when they die! Lots love to you both Dad xx

    • Hello Bill … you can use the oil πŸ™‚ we got 39.5 litres which I picked up this evening. Was so funny driving my car and hearing the oil slopping around in the containers. And it is so tasty … yum! I know I have thought about those trees in the paddock next door many times and wondered if we are nuts .. LOL So pleased that you weather is warmer – I’ll get you onto our ivy when you come back! Loads of love back at you Julie

      • Hi Julie thanks for letting use the OIL! I have just found a recipe for confit, this one is quite good it only uses two litres of oil! Seeing as you thirty odd litres I thought you could spare a little for this dish! Keep up the good work and I hope you didn’t spill any in the car as andrew did with the petrol. Lots of love to you both will speak over the weekend Bill xxx

  5. How exciting to have your own olive oil to use. Maybe you should harvest the olives like we saw in Greece where they just laid out nets below the trees and waited for the olives to fall.

  6. Hi you two yes pruning olive trees can be a task I will send some pictures of our Greek trees here in Crete and you will see how much they cut them back.

    • Hey Roy … it sure is a task! And ours have got very tall and dense which makes harvest super tough. I picked up the oil tonight and saw some olive trees pruned right back. That’s the way to do it! Hope you are both good πŸ˜€

    • Hey lovely … I honestly was exhausted after the harvest and was so pleased when I waved goodbye to hubby when he drove them to the press. I picked them up today and listened happily to the oil slopping away in the containers on the way home πŸ˜€

  7. Wow, Julie! Autumn is my fav time of the year. What a beautiful location and view. Would like to walk into the frame. Awesome shot. Colors and composition. And a nice way to spent the weekend. Greetings. Reinhold

    • Hey Reinhold … hello! My favourite time of year too, I just love it. I think our place is lovely too .. and the seasons sure do change the look of it. Oh how I wish you could walk into the frame, then I could grab you and we could go and take some photos together! I would love that πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for your kind words .. yay!

      • … walking into a frame. I think this is an excellent idea for an internet browser plug in. I talk to the guys from Apple about your idea. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Julie and sunny smiles to the other side of the earth. Reinhold
        PS: that “grabbing stuff” and shooting photos together sounds cool… mmmh -> walking into the frame is really the problem…

    • Hello Mr D … you never know, I just might send you a bottle! Now if you can send me your email I would happily do that! πŸ˜€ Glad you like the photos .. all I need now is to be able to take pics like you Mr Draco and then I’ll be happy πŸ˜€

      • Very kind of you, Julie on all counts. But you already know my email – it’s on the bottom of every email notification you receive when a comment is made.

        Of course, accepting a bottle would involve revealing my true identity. Would that affect my powers? What would Batman do? Hmm, I’ll have another sip of red wine and ponder that. πŸ™‚

  8. Hehe, love to see someone else doing that job πŸ™‚

    I pick on my own, so usually takes six weeks in total. Interesting to see how it’s all done so differently there. Good harvest guys πŸ™‚

    • Ha ha ha … I bet you laughed when you read my post! Damn it is a tough job and having those trees perched on a hillside? LOL It takes you 6 weeks? How many trees do you have? We have to get ours done in one hit as they have to be pressed within 5 days of picking (something we don’t do ourselves). Do you have your own press Spike? So good to hear from you πŸ˜€

      • I have 45 I think, big to small, something like that, out of 300+ trees overall. Yes, it takes me about that long to pick, sort etc. as I work alone.

        Never heard of the 5 day rule. In fact, we practise the opposite here. If I took green olives like that to the press, they’d stare at me open-mouthed (as in my first year) πŸ™‚

        Oil yield per kg varies by tree type, and even by area (varies by soil, climate etc). For example, we picked green one year, and used 10kg/litre, whereas I can normally take that to 6kg/litre or even 5.2kg/litre as in last season. I pick when a tree is 50/50 green vs ripe, and lay them on porous tarpaulin for up to a month with salt thrown over every few days just to stop them rotting. However, by letting them ‘brew’, the oil yield increases by 10-15%.

        Your 270/38 ratio (7.1kg/litre) is pretty good for green, and may increase to 4.5kg/litre or 60 litres yield if picked later and brewed until soft and brown. Your tree type, climate and soil is better than ours overall I would say. However, perhaps your 5 day thing is to do with your using a dry press process? (all this region is wet press)

        I’m hoping for a good season, upward of 650kg. The fruit is forming well (every 2 years), but the hot winds of mid-July are the pivotal point, with 7-10 days of 24hr winds over 40C determining the crop – which on a fruiting year various between 250-900kg.

        Yes, still here, still kickin’…. don’t forget the Facebook option if interested. See ya

  9. That’s a good crop πŸ˜€ We can’t wait to get out to Kos next month for lovely Greek olives!! I expect our landlady will be picking a few almonds too πŸ™‚ Great shots of the dogs and the autumn colours! I rather like the look of the pumpkin too πŸŽƒ

    • Hi Sarah .. So good to hear from you! How nice to be able to zip over to Kos – I haven’t been to Greece in ages! Love the sound of picking almonds too. So pleased you enjoyed my pics .. dogs & autumn colours, perfect! πŸ˜€

      • Haha, it’s a three hour flight which isn’t too bad really πŸ™‚ We always book flights as soon as they’re released to get the best price! Wish I could afford tickets for NZ and Australia πŸ™ I have to say that a fresh sweet almond cracked straight away after being picked is better than any other almond I’ve ever tasted πŸ™‚ Enjoy your Autumn, it’s my favourite season!

  10. Wonderful update! I was getting ready to give you a poke to remind you about your blog. My goodness it must be great to have your own olive oil. Looks like a lot of work. That is a beautiful pumpkin, grizzled, worn in places, maybe even past it’s prime, but beautiful none the less. πŸ™‚ Nice to see you put a name tag on Dan. You don’t want Andrew bringing home any old malamute. Love your photos! Take care Julie! Bob

    • Hey Bob!!!! Hello. Yes prompt me if I ever get this bad ever again. Promise? Damn it was nearly 3 weeks. I couldn’t believe how long it took me to get photos and stuff together. Mind you work has been nuts lately! I love that a grizzled pumpkin. I shall think of you when I eat it! Hope it isn’t past its prime. Glad you picked the name tag – certainly no malamutes allowed! So good to hear from you – as always Mr E

  11. Those olives look lovely, Julie! Lots of good olive oil to come from the pressing! Your area is so beautiful, and I love the autumn colors as well as the harvest.

    Spring is running away quickly here in our hemisphere, with Summer in hot pursuit. It was a relatively mild winter, and early spring.

    • Hi Lavinia … thank you, I think they look lovely too. The oil is so good .. I picked it up from the press the other day, whizzed home and then was dipping crusty bread into bowls of it. Oh divine! Autumn is such a super time of year. Yes you must be heading into summer .. looking forward to enjoying it on your blog πŸ˜€

    • Hi Gill I have missed you. Although I spotted your post today which I thought looked gorgeous! Pleased you enjoyed the post. I’m so glad that harvest is well and truly over. The oil isn’t too bad either πŸ˜€

  12. I wouldn’t have know those were macadamias if you hadn’t pointed that out. That’s a lot of trees, and olives! Pretty autumn leaves. Dogs appear to having a lot of fun. If winter is three weeks away, then surely our summer should show up soon! It’s been a long, rainy spring.

    • I had no idea what macadamias looked like either! LOL The rats know though .. they adore them. Isn’t autumn the best? Those dogs sure were having fun the little guy was hilarious! Ah so you have had a damp spring? Bet summer can’t come soon enough πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by

  13. What an amazing harvest of olives! Every time I think your photos couldn’t be more gorgeous you surprise me again…after following your blog for a while now I’ve concluded that Yes! your farm really is that idyllically beautiful.

  14. Really such an abundance of lovely olives and what a beautiful farm you have there, Julie! Hope you are keeping well and enjoying your photography this season. πŸ™‚

    • We do have a range of crops don’t we? Love the olives … and the oil is so nice! That sure was a very photogenic pumpkin. We do celebrate Hallowe’en but the pumpkins are pretty safe πŸ˜€

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