The Olives harvest methods for their transformation into oil begins in autumn and usually lasts until the end of February. Afterwards, due to over-ripening, the olives can become pitted, which considerably reduces the quality of the oil. For table olives, this process begins before ripening, in November.
Today we want to talk to you about this olive harvesting process and the different methods that exist:
Olives harvesting Milking off method
It is the one used for the table olives harvesting and the one that we have been using in Aceitunas Escamilla for 60 years. The olives are harvested by hand or with rakes suitable for this purpose. Its main advantage is the quality of the olives, which are not damaged and arrive in perfect condition to be classified.
This olives harvesting technique consists of shaking the branches of the tree with a wooden or fiber stick up to 4 meters long, in order to make the olives fall on plastic blankets that are spread under the olive tree. It is the most used, due to its productivity, although it is somewhat harmful to the olive tree.
It is realized with vibrating machines, which embrace the trunk or branches of the olive tree and shake them, which makes the olives fall to the ground, to a blanket or to a harvesting umbrella.
After the olives fall directly to the ground, due to shaking, vibration or ripening, they are collected by sweeping machines, vacuum cleaners and blowers. This procedure has many disadvantages, since the fruit is spoiled and dirtied by dust or mud, which reduces the quality of the oil.This olives harvest process is very important and decisive for the quality and condition of the fruit when it is dressed and packaged for sale to consumers, hotels and catering sector.