November in Liguria can mean the olive harvest season has come back: Olive picking is one of the most traditional appointments of November throughout Liguria.
The precise date for the olive harvest varies depending on the zone, the variety of olive and the climatic conditions over the past Summer. It normally begins in the first week of November and ends in mid-December, but it must be done before the ripe fruit begins to fall off the tree, when the olives have reached the maximum size and the pulp begins to lose a little firmness.
This means that in the month of November all the olive groves, from the largest firms to the smallest holiday farms, are populated by local families, helped by friends and labourers, all busy carrying on a tradition that lasts from centuries now.
The harvest is very simple, it consist in picking olives using nets and baskets and some special pliers, or even with bare hands. Under each olive tree, a large net is placed and serves the function of collecting the olives as they gradually fall from the plant. Once all of the olives have been collected off the tree, the net is removed and the small fruits are put in baskets or bales.
This process can also be done with the use of machines, to accelerate the collection.Keep in mind that the climate where the olives grow, the ripeness of the olives at harvest time, the variety of the trees and other little things are all elements that influence the final result and features of each batch of olive oil. From the sea to the hills, Riviera Ligure olive oil begins its cycle once again, Riviera dei Fiori, Riviera del Ponente Savonese and Riviera di Levante. It’s back up the stone roads, over the terracing walls. Everywhere, the olive harvest has begun. And the quantity is good. The quality: excellent. Satisfaction is there, but still plenty of work ahead and this year’s harvest will go down in history.
We went to see the olives and the people of DOP Riviera Ligure. Here, on a farm above the coast, olives ready to be pressed. Gentle slopes, low dry-stone walls, between mule tracks still in stone. Diligent hands spread out nets, move through the trees, remove the leaves from the precious fruit in the crates. The sun peeps through the trees creating iridescent effects. The sea is below, calm.
All is well. No talking, just working.The best care will be taken to keep the olive grove in the best conditions of productivity. And an account of the practices, all rigorously manual, will be posted online, given the nature of the territory and also the costs involved in producing the DOP Riviera Ligure extra-virgin olive oil. A success after a full year of hard work, but hopefully also a gratifying experience.
The Olive Harvest For Dop Riviera Ligure Oil Has Begun