Olives: A New Season

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Thursday 15 May, 2014 by Uncle Spike

The olive trees are all in flower, marking the beginning of a new season.

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After a short couple of weeks, the tiny flowers litter the ground everywhere, and then, slowly but surely, tiny olives appear in their place. At least 70% will drop, as is nature, leaving behind the start of the crop for next winter’s harvest. 

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The determining factor for your crop yield is basically down to three factors. First is the seasonal rotation – olive trees normally fruit every other year, so one year a tree may have 30kg (65 lbs), the next just 1-2kg (2-5 lbs). Not all the trees are in unison however, I have perhaps 45 out of 50 on one cycle, but 5 trees on the other. I even have one tree that is half and half – very strange.

Secondly, the weather over the summer months is key, with high winds in late July usually the crop killer. That’s when it blows hot air for 10 days at well over 40 Celsius, or over 100 in old money. The heat is fine, but it doesn’t half blow, and the trees suffer of course.

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The third factor depends on what you spray the trees with. I spray basically nothing. Some years I will spray Bordeaux Mix (Copper Sulphate), which is pretty harmless and natural, should the bark and/or leaves need that treatment due to disease, which happens from time to time, but normally I do not spray them at all. Some locals do, big time, and of course their crop yield is 2-5 times what I’ll get, but that’s not my thing; plus we use the olives and the oil for ourselves, our family and and we sell some, but only to work colleagues, so we prefer to keep it all as natural as possible 🙂

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But no need for this year.

And finally, a view of an olive tree (surprise, surprise)…
but I loved the sky in this shot too 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Olives: A New Season

  1. […] money, but also, I don’t like to add chemicals to what our family consumes. The most I use is Bordeaux-Bulamacı every few years, which is copper-sulphate powder mixed with water and considered organic […]

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  2. You look so busy that you will excuse me for catching up only now with your post. I love olives and although we are spoiled here in California with a great diversity of fruits and veggies, Turkey has amazing produce as well. Enjoy!

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  3. Jody says:

    How wonderful! I can’t imagine how much fun it would be to nurture, harvest, and eat your very own olives! I’m thrilled with our small crop of chives, basil, and tomatoes! 🙂

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  4. rododovris says:

    When I travel away from here and I don’t see olive trees in my sight,I feel so homesick…..To me summer means olive trees all around!

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  5. dayphoto says:

    LUCKY, LUCKY YOU! IIt would be fun to live and farm there!!!

    ♥ღLinda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  6. londoncab53 says:

    Nice post! I was just having a conversation about olives the other day with a co-worker. We can’t grow them here in the pacific northwest, too cold and wet. I was wondering if a person could order raw olives and then put them in brine yourself. We decided it wouldn’t be cost effective and it’s a very time consuming process, especially if you have none of the equipment. Guess I’ll have to get mine at Cost Co!

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    • Uncle Spike says:

      Hmm.. depends on the price if you can get decent organic produce. Here we sell them for just 1 TL / kg (or 18 cents a pound)!!

      The processing is very simple. We do it two ways.

      For normal eating olives…
      Quickly rinse, then score on 3 sides with a sharp knife. Put in a large pot (I use 15 or 30 litre plastic jars) and fill with water. Change the water daily for 10-15 days, until bitterness has mostly gone. Then drain and leave to dry for an hour. Then back in the jar and add lemon salt and rock salt and refill with water; leave for 10 days, but mix daily. When done, drain and refill completely with brine or olive oil – will keep fresh for 2 years

      For small hard black olives…
      Rinse and drain well. In a large pot, add a 2″ layer of olives, then a handful of rock salt, then another layer, and so on. Shake it up and leave for 20 days, tilted on it’s side with the cap slightly open, turning every day. After 5 days, black acid water will start to drain out. After 20 days, shake off excess salt. Add a small glass of sunflower oil and a small amount of lemon salt. shake that up and that will stay fresh for 18-24 months. Don’t use olive oil as they will go rotten in 2 months.

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  7. joannesisco says:

    Love olives … especially in my weekend martini or garlic stuffed jumbo olives to snack on … yum.

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  8. fredrieka says:

    momwithoutpaws love’s olives.. I just think anything she is eating is good. She does not share

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