The olive harvest is a real event for the inhabitants of Liguria, but not only, who experience this period of the year as a rewarding effort.
Another important, but not fundamental, feature to have a high quality oil is the harvesting method you intend to use.
Let’s find out what collection methods exist.
The main harvesting techniques are:
stripping, consists in picking the olives by hand directly from the branches.
Ideal for low plants, it has the great advantage of not damaging the olives and is suitable for producing top quality oils as all the fruits are selected by hand individually.
A very expensive method but which preserves the integrity of the fruit in the best possible way.
beating, which consists in shaking the branches with poles (trappe in Ligurian) to cause the fruit to fall on special nets.
This is a widespread practice in olive groves that have a tree size that makes it impossible to harvest by hand.
It is a fast and convenient method, but in the most fragile plants it can cause injuries.
combing, in which the branches are “combed” with rakes, causing the fall of ripe fruit on special sheets.
The only contraindication is the possible damage to the fruit.
the picking or natural fall is nothing more than the harvest of the olives that have fallen spontaneously after having reached a high degree of ripeness.
The oils produced from olives harvested with the harvesting of the fruit are generally of poor quality and are not suitable for food consumption.
shaking, not practiced in Liguria for obvious morphological reasons, is a mechanical method that provides that the olives are harvested thanks to mechanical arms that wrap the trunk or branches of the tree, beating them in a mild and contained way so as to favor the fruit fall.
Mechanical harvesting is a method with tools that mimic those of manual beating: it saves a lot of time, but there is a risk that it will damage plants and fruits.