#11  
Old 11-13-2008, 02:55 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: CA
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Default Re: Olive Trees

Quote:
Originally Posted by staestc View Post
Personally, I would love to see the curing process!

Even if I can't grow the trees here due to the occasionally deep freezes we get, I might still like to get some olives and cure them!

Travis
It's not too late to order fresh olives from this year's crop (black olives at any rate):

Penna Olives, from stuffed olives to olive spreads, we've got it all

As they mention on the above page, the olive crop this year is miserable. Most of my trees didn't have more than a handful (literally!). A couple had enough to make it worth picking. So this year I'll only be able to cure a few quarts rather than a few gallons.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2008, 01:33 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: PHX
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Default Re: Olive Trees

I really enjoy olive trees. Check out where I have been hanging out lately.. Queen Creek Olive Mill
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2008, 03:33 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Olive Trees

Olive trees around the Adelaide hills that are sewn through birds dropping the stones are deemed to be noxious weeds and are a very real bushfire threat.
Land owners are offered govt financial assistance to rid them but there are also huge acreages put in for the oil production.
I am always pulling up feral young olive seedlings around the garden as neither I nor the other half like them,. She won't even have them on her pizzas.
We have a new residential development a couple of hundred metres away from us and you should see the olive tree stumps that the excavators have removed. Some single stumps would fill a tandem tipper.
I also have considerable olive wood that I collected for wood turning but now will burn it in the Pompeii.

Neill
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2008, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Olive Trees

I was contacted a few years ago by a company from Liguria that has a mountain (a true lifetime supply) of olive wood cuttings. They prune the trees every years, and they are trying to figure out a way of making a profit from the wood. They were wondering if there was a market in the U.S. for "gourmet" wood -- but I didn't see an opportunity. There are lots of wood and charcoal BBQs in Italy, and they couldn't believe it when I told them that most grills in the U.S. were propane.

I can't imagine shipping enough wood anywhere to fire a wood oven.

Oh well.
James
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  #15  
Old 11-17-2008, 07:41 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: CA
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Default Olive Curing

I promised some photos of the curing process.

I use the brine method. The result of the curing process is shown in the first photo (last year's crop)

I pick the olives in mid-November when the tree contains a mix of fully black olives (with purple flesh almost to the pit) through olives that just have a blush of red.

I find it easiest to cure the olives in the same quart canning jars that will be their final home. First cut a slash through each olive from north pole to south pole, taking care not to cut into the pit. Fill each jar with the slashed olives (second photo).

Next prepare a brine with one part kosher or sea salt to 9 parts water (by volume). Fill each jar to the neck (third photo).

Now put on the lids and bands and set the jars in a cool dark place. For the next week give them a good shaking daily.

I'll be back next week with photos of the next steps.
Attached Thumbnails
Olive Trees-img_1296.jpg   Olive Trees-img_1301.jpg   Olive Trees-img_1302.jpg  
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  #16  
Old 11-17-2008, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Olive Trees

Thanks for posting those Sakoman! And oh man, they do look tasty already! Do you ever augment the brine with herbs and such? Really curious about this whole process, and bound to get into it pretty soon (oh no, another hobbie!!! )

Travis
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  #17  
Old 11-17-2008, 01:10 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Olive Trees

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Originally Posted by staestc View Post
And oh man, they do look tasty already!
They are not at all tasty at this point in the process! Some of the most vile, bitter things you have ever put in your mouth

Ah, but in a few weeks . . .

Quote:
Do you ever augment the brine with herbs and such?
No, I haven't done that. I'm from the school of thought that says you add those fresh, as desired, when ready to eat them.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Olive Trees

We picked our trees today. Lot's of fun on a foggy day at the coast. We have a nice mix of green and black. Like Sakoman, we are using the brine method and have weeks of stirring and waiting ahead of us.

I found a new use for my dough trays. You are support to weigh the olives down so they stay submerged in the brine, and it just worked with with two layers of trays and a third with water as a weight.

Sakoman, did you have a lot of bugs and worms?

James
Attached Thumbnails
Olive Trees-img_1391.jpg   Olive Trees-img_1399.jpg   Olive Trees-img_1383.jpg  
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2008, 09:11 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Olive Trees

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Originally Posted by james View Post
Sakoman, did you have a lot of bugs and worms?
No, didn't notice any at all when I was cutting the slash in each olive.

Sounds like you might have olive fruit fly - you can learn more about controlling it from the following UC Davis publication:

http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/fileli...2161/28457.pdf

You can buy olive fly traps in small quantities at:

The Olive Press

My curing progress post from last week seems to have disappeared, so I've attached photos below of the olives at the start of the process, after one week, and then after two weeks.

The olives are still losing color to the brine at this phase. I start tasting them at week two to begin calibrating my taste buds. They are still quite vile, but definitely less bitter than at the start.

I change the brine weekly (1 part salt, 9 parts water).

From this point the olives will start to darken from oxidation (you can see this happening at the cuts), eventually reaching the brownish-purple you see in my previous photo of the finished product.
Attached Thumbnails
Olive Trees-img_1302.jpg   Olive Trees-img_1304.jpg   Olive Trees-img_1306.jpg  
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  #20  
Old 12-01-2008, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Olive Trees

Quote:
Originally Posted by sakoman View Post
Sounds like you might have olive fruit fly - you can learn more about controlling it from the following UC Davis publication:

http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/fileli...2161/28457.pdf

You can buy olive fly traps in small quantities at:

The Olive Press
Thanks for the lead. I will look into that for next season.
James
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