Raccolta delle Olive
photo by author

Raccolta delle Olive


How Olive Oil Gets Made: Branch to Bottle in Under 4 days

We had the incredible experience last week to help some friends in Troina with their olive harvest. Like many things in Sicily, it was a family affair and because these are very special people with very special ways, we feel honored and fortunate to have them as guides on our assimilation into this culture and its traditions. To get here we may have had to travel far in terms of distance, but in terms of food, it was like crossing the backyard, this land, this food, this attitude toward the both of them, caretaker and harvester, felt as home to us as anything.

I put together this short three-minute film to give you some idea of what the harvest was like, and the after harvest too, the cold pressing of olives into oil, and while there is much the video leaves out—like just how well we ate in between all the work, if you’ve ever cut tobacco or hauled hay in the south, you know what I mean!—it does a pretty good job, I hope, of showing that this is not some huge corporate operation. These are family trees on family land, olives picked by family hands and taken to the local frantoio, oil processor, to have the oil extracted by, often, friends of the family.

The machines might be new, but the endeavor itself has existed for centuries, and although to some, it may feel like the opposite of progress, in terms of land use and food, it’s one we must all come back around to and embrace. Thus, the callout at the end of the video to do something yourself to make a thing such as this possible in your town. It won’t be with olives, or maybe it will be, they grow them now in Georgia, I hear.

But I know someone who knows, and you probably do to. If not, head down to your local farmers market and introduce yourself. Chances are they won’t be alone but accompanied by a couple of family members.

Show your love & support

As an independent, reader-funded operation, I rely on the backing of readers willing and able to financially support work of this nature. Behind my desk there is just me, seeking to prove in any way that I can, unencumbered by shareholders or billionaire owners, that it is possible to cut through the bullshit of what we're taught about life and find the means to live longer, better, with less, wherever we are.If you find my writing here to be living up to those intentions or otherwise enriches your own life in any way, please consider supporting it with a one-time donation or paid subscription. Your support makes all the difference!

Monthly Subscriber
Become a re-occuring sustainer with a monthly subscription. Choose from several affordable levels. Annual subscribers earn a 17% discount. Sign up today and help yourself to an additional 20% off (read more).
♥ $5 / month, $50/year
♥ $10 / month, $100/year
♥ $25 / month, $150/year

One-time Donation
Light up my life and give me hope with with a one-time donation in any amount.

Keen on the Bitcoin? No problem. Mine it and shovel a bit (or two) my way: bc1qn56cg3htqq77zm4y06900m0u05xpy57zxkkmz9

Need to cancel an existing subscription? I do hate to see you go, but I understand, life happens. Visit this page to do so.

Love = Support


} .footer-social-item-rss { display: none; }