Collecting olives – the British way

Despite the fact that I have lived in Corfu for more than twenty years, one activity I have never been involved in is picking olives – until yesterday! But as my loved-one was keen to point out, we did it the British way.

Not for us the laying of nets under the trees and waiting for the olives to drop off. This way takes months and involves going to the nets regularly to collect the olives. We decided to go for it in one shot, wanting just enough good olive oil for our house and to give some away to selected lucky friends. So we wandered around to choose which trees had the most fruit, then laid the nets underneath and used rakes on the end of broomsticks to drag the olives off. Sounds easy but we really needed the regular coffee and mince pie stops to keep us going.

A whole day’s labour yielded four sacks and this should give us about twenty litres of oil – more than enough for our summer salads.

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