Friday, April 26, 2013

A tsunami of olives!

Olive fever has hit town! As you know I had organised a communal press for Hilton Harvest peeps and Earth Carers. We did it in 2012 and took up a combined total of about 300 kgs. It was great and a few folk who didn't do it said they would have a go next time. Well turns out folk round here stick to their word!

The deal was to either drop the olives at my place before Monday 9 am or at work in Cottesloe by 10 am. Olives started to roll in on Sunday arvo. By 8 pm Sunday evening I suspected we would have a good haul - our veranda and front room were chokas with bags, boxes, baskets of olives. I was glad to turn the lights out for fear of more deliveries by enthusiastic pickers. By 9 am I was getting a little worried. I had packed the work Rav 4 to the brim when two more deliveries arrived! We managed to squeeze them in... But I was now freaking out about what I would find at work! I called my wonderful colleague Gabs and said 'please tell me we do not have a mountain if olives on our veranda'. Her reply 'let's just say I can't wait to see the expression on your face when you get here. Don't worry we can pack my car and I'll come with you.' The way Gabs said it made me feel a little more relaxed.

Quin and I squeezed in the Rav and off we choofed. I had to yell to Quin to hold the box which was balanced on the bucket every time we turned left so he didn't end up with olive concussion. On this leg of the journey I remembered that I had only booked in 400 kgs for pressing. I reckoned I had about that already. Hmm...

The expression on my face when we arrived at work was, well, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. There was at least double what I had in the car sitting on the veranda at work. And they were still rolling in. It was a tsumami of olives. How would we get them to the press? Would they even be able to press so many?

Luck was on our side. We had the Urban Tucker Women! Two lovely women who are soon to launch their website about urban gleaning were filming the event and had brought a car each! They were my olive angels - fun, super helpful and glamorous to boot (literally in their little black dresses, diamanties and gum boots!! I have never seen anyone pout over urban tucker before - gorgeous!)

So after Gabs crunched the numbers and concluded that we had 1.3 tonnes of olives we proceeded to pack up the cars. We headed off convoy style, each car groaning under the weight of our cargo. I was just praying they could manage to press them all.

After a long drive we arrived at Jumanga Olive Grove. We were greeted by the grandma of the house who drew breath when we told her how much we had: 'Oh my, that's a good pick!'. The lovely man who operated the press was also impressed and laughed when we confessed the weight of our haul. He said they were really booked up pressing 7 days a week but when he said they would do their best to fit us in I could have hugged him. The world was a bright and happy place again: I would not be letting down all those enthusiastic pickers, they will have their oil!

We unloaded and were invited to look around. The press was amazing; olives in the big hopper at the top, leaves and debris into the basket, oil out one end and waste out the other. The oil was a beautiful bright green.

They use the waste by either just spreading it back into the grove or by drying it and using it in their pot belly stove as fuel.

I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day. My anxiety had eeked away on the drive home and was being replaced my a strong sense of relief and satisfaction. When i got home i noticed a post on Facebook from a garden friend: ''today collected my 10 kgs of olives from the olive grove in my local park, met a lovely family doing the same thing and had a glorious day. God I love community'. Well that just makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Now that's a press! Brilliant design and you are so lucky to be able to press your own olives.