La Raccolta…Olive harvest!

Our friends who have around 75 olive trees asked us if we wanted to help. This is our second time to harvest there. We really love being involved in the olive harvest which has been happening here for thousands of years. To be able to be a part of something that has gone on for so long is really something we like about living here.

I have hurt my left knee and have been nursing it for over two weeks so I was really not sure I could be much use, but Luther wanted to go as much as me, and I was willing to try.

We have had at least two weeks of dry sunny weather. Everyone in Umbria has harvested much earlier than normal. We had a very hot and very dry summer which affected the crop. It is fairly plentiful and all my friends have had good harvests and weight to oil ratios are pretty good. Here are a few pictures.

Beautiful views from this property. There are always dogs at the harvests it seems!
Putting the nets under the trees.
The nets catch the olives allowing faster picking using hand rakes.
Olives of differing hues and ripeness. Makes for more piccante oil.
Luther working his tree.

They hire a helper team with the beaters that shake the olives from the top branches. They had started yesterday, and were back today. We others harvested the lower and interior branches.

I don’t mind admitting that a hard days work nearly killed me. I managed to work steadily the four hours up to lunch. And credibly, I might add 🙂. I worked probably five or six trees. While I worked I thought about the fact that I am a small part of a long, unbroken line of people, just like me, stripping the olives from the branches on a golden October day — year in and year out for thousands of years. Makes one feel the history of this ancient land.

When we left they had 20 boxes of olives to take to the mill. All the trees were harvested. I will try to find out what the weight was, and the yield of oil.

Ask me if I am happy I participated…YES! Thank you Joanne and Mark. Ask me again next year! 🫒🫒🫒💕💕💕

10 thoughts on “La Raccolta…Olive harvest!

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hey Joanne, I found this comment in spam! How strange. I marked it as “not spam” so maybe now your comments will be received

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Karen, surprisingly, nothing hurt afterwards! I thought it would but nope. And my knee seems better. I don’t understand why it is an emotional experience for me, the harvest, but it is. My friend told me she cried when the oil came out of the spout at the frantoio. So it’s not just me! I hope someday you can do it too. Lot of work, be forewarned.

  3. Karen Pace

    Amazing, Nancy and Luther! Sorry that you felt it the next day, but I’m glad that it was worth it! Some day, I want to be in Italy in October or early November for the olive harvest and help out at my friend’s farm in Tuscany. She planted 20 more trees so that she can have more olives. Your description makes me want to be a part of it one day, too! =)

  4. Joanne Qualey

    You and Luther are always welcome here! You are real troupers and good workers, even with a bad knee. Thank you for your help! We ended up with 21 containers and the total weighed 440 kg, short of our goal of 500 kg but enough! Should know yield in oil in next day or two.

  5. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Absolutely Leah. I want to keep doing things like this with all my heart. I’m glad you liked the post 💕

  6. roamingartist

    So why did this bring tears to my eyes? The landscape is so beautiful. The olives themselves are beautiful in their variety of colors. And the fact that you were able to participate in this ancient activity is just so special! I’m so glad you toughed it out. Nurse that knee so it doesn’t hold you back from future experiences like this.

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