My husband had always been intriqued with the romance of harvesting olives in Italy. So when Rosemary’s neighbor said his olives were ready for the picking, we jumped at the chance. Michele and his wife Pia are 88 and 84, respectively, and have been picking olives for the major part of their lives. Each year they say, ‘this is the last year we will harvest’, but as another year rolls around there they are, ladders poised against the trees harvesting with the aid of family members, or anyone else (like ourselves) who steps up to volunteer.
I was so green (no pun intended) that I did not even know the olive that you pick off the tree is not suitable eating. It is so bitter that you instinctively spit it out, ‘oh, those charming Americans’.
Michele, and two of his willing helpers, my husband Arturo and Rosamaria.
La raccolta (the harvest)
After the olives are harvested an appointment is made with the mill and the olives are transported to the frantoio to be pressed. From 50 young trees, 25 or so liters can be had to supply a family with the greenest, freshest organic olive oil one has ever tasted.
If you are not fortunate enough to be able to harvest your own olives in Italy you can visit Fattoria Fubbiano in San Gennaro to buy their products at their farm shop or to enjoy a complete wine and oil tour from the ancient villa of the XVII century. Pass by their vineyard, learn about the oil and wine making process, visit the cellar and end with a pleasant wine and oil tasting.
They will be happy to introduce you to their farm life, showing you the care and passion that goes into their daily work to achieve the best results with extra virgin olive oil.