12 January 2011


Another winter work is harvesting olives. While we are suffering a strong and rainy winter the field work is stopped because this weather doesn't allow to follow with it. In the area where I live, we have to harvest olives. This work is normally manual, although some farmers usually use machines when the fields are very extensive. We will speak about that later.

I would like to talk about the Spanish olive oil high quality (Spain is the biggest producer in the world  with about 35% World production). Spanish oil is considered the best in the world because of its great taste and its cooking applications...it is called "liquid gold". The authentic olive oil is extracted directly from squeezing olives without any filtering or chemical process. Almost a third of the olive pulp is oil.

Talking about olive trees, it is necessary to say they are usually small or medium size in this area, so harvesting is usually manual or with semimanual machines because the big vibratos can damage the olive trees. We have planted our olive trees with a distance of 6x7m, although it can be optional. An olive tree in this area can produce about 25kg of olives. 

Our olives variety are Picual and Cornicabra. Picual olives give exceptional oil with green tones and predominance light bitter flavors and fruity; they are very resistant to frost. Cornicabra olives are very usual in this area (Castilla-La Mancha) and they give oil with strong and very aromatic flavors.

About harvester system, we use Campagnola pneumatic harvester. It needs an electric group to work; this electric group has 10HP and it produce 4500w. Pneumatic harvester needs an air compressor; we use Abac air compressor of 3HP and 100L bolier, the maximum work pressure is 8bar and Pneumatic harvester needs airflow of 230L/min. Other air compressor type can be connect PTO tractor with the similar pneumatic harvester. There are other harvester systems which are not pnuematic; they use a small gasoline engine. I think these harvester systems are heavier and the worker needs to word stronger for many hours. As we said before, other harvester systems exist which are stronger and they vibrate olive trees in order to knock olives over canvas and they are picked up automatically.

You can watch two videos from here: Video1, Video2