Harvest Update and Photos

Harvest Day 2014 is complete! With a labor crew of 45 plus 15 friends and family we completed the harvest quickly. We started in the fog before sunrise and almost all the olives were off the trees by noon! Sadly this is because the harvest yield was especially low this year.
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People often ask why a harvest is big or small, and the answer is usually “that’s farming.” But there were some good reasons why 2014 was a low yield year. One reason is olive trees are alternate bearing, meaning they have some seasons when they produce abundant fruit and others when they invest their energy into deeper roots. Another is the continued drought in California. Still another might be the impact of the olive fruit fly.

Whatever the reason, our harvest of less than one ton was about a third of what we had hoped for, and less than 40% of what we had last year. The good news is the olives looked fantastic. Honestly, they were nearly perfect!

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Maria was the winner of our “guess the harvest” contest.

Though it was a hard half-days work, we had a lot of fun! Friends, family, and the cutest kids ever all helped. The labor crew was amazing as always, and our foreman Maria won the prize for most accurate guess of the total harvest.

The next morning Roy and I took the olives to Sciabica’s in Modesto for processing. We had a chance to taste the oil as fresh as it will ever be when it came straight out of the mill. The quality we saw in the olives on harvest day was obvious in the taste on milling day!

The 2014 harvest oil will be available in a few months, but unfortunately it will be in limited supply this year. We still have our awarding winning 2013 Estate Olive Oil available and there are even a few bottles left of the 2013 Late Harvest Oil. Now is the time to visit our new online store and stock up.

A foggy morning soon became a beautiful clear day.

A foggy morning soon became a beautiful clear day.

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Friends and family helping with the harvest.

Friends and family helping with the harvest.

One of the cutest harvesters!

One of the cutest harvesters!

Our friend Paul was a huge help. Thanks Paul!

Our friend Paul was a huge help. Thanks Paul!

Roy was responsible for the weighing and loading of the olives.

Roy was responsible for the weighing and loading of the olives.

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Who knew babies fit perfectly into belly buckets?!?

Who knew babies fit perfectly into belly buckets?!?

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Olives weighed and loaded, ready for transport to the mill.

Olives weighed and loaded, ready for transport to the mill.

Time to celebrate with our work crew.

Time to celebrate with our work crew.

A toast to Harvest 2014!

A toast to Harvest 2014!