OLIVES ARE POPULAR

In southern Queensland where Rash Valley Olives is located, winters up in the hills can be quite cold.

In Spring (September in our half of the world) the trees awaken from their winter shutdown and produce masses of delicate white flowers (featured on our evoo label). It's a spectacular start to the season's crop.

After fruit-set, as the olives grow, and particularly from mid-summer on as they ripen and turn colour from green to purple, there are many keen eyes keeping track of progress. (hint - they fly!)

To help keep our feathered friends at bay, we use radio-control technology...

THE HARVEST

The grove is planted with the cultivars Frantoio and Correggiolo. Noted for their excellent oil-producing qualities, these Tuscan varieties thrive on the gentle north-facing slopes of the property.

While the olives from these trees are a bit on the small side to be used for table olives, they're ideally suited for the production of high quality extra virgin olive oil.

While beating the trees with sticks might well be a traditional method for removing the olives from the trees, for us technology has come to our aid with our electric back-pack oscillating rakes which flick the olives off and onto the net below.
THE PRESSING

Although in common use, the term pressing the olives is not strictly true in the modern olive industry.

The presses of old involved crushing the olives under heavy rotating stone rollers, followed by spreading the pulp on layers of mats which were then pressed - quite literally - and the oil dribbled down the sides to be collected, or channelled down shallow drains to a collection pond.

These days, extracting the oil from freshly picked olives is done in gleaming stainless steel equipment which after pulping the fruit, gently malaxes the paste to release the oil, then uses a centrifuge to 'spin off' the oil.

Processing is fast and hygenic, and a very efficient way of releasing and capturing the juice of the olive -- fresh extra virgin olive oil.
THE PRUNING

After harvest is a busy time in the grove, with the annual pruning of the trees.

Left unpruned, the olive tree will grow to enormous dimensions with a dense growth of foliage right through the canopy. In a commercial grove however, pruning is essential for the health of the tree and maximum production.

Pruning is done manually, moving from tree to tree with a chainsaw and electric secateurs, followed up by the tractor and chipper, ensuring nothing is wasted.

The smaller freshly pruned branches and clippings are put through the chipper and straight back under the trees as mulch, while the bigger pieces are stacked and stored as firewood for the following winter.

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Roger Harrison launches the RC Stryker

 Launching the super quiet but VERY fast bird-scarer.

Hand harvesting Rash Valley olives
Harvesting with a hand-held electric 'shaker rake' onto a catcher net. The olives never touch the ground.
Extracting the evoo at Rash Valley Olives
IN -- Freshly picked olives in the receiving hopper...                              AND OUT  -- all-natural extra virgin olive oil.      
chipping the prunings at Rash Valley Olives
Feeding the chipper...
Award Winning* Queensland  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*Class 1 SILVER MEDAL -- 2016 Royal Adelaide Show