The harvest this year has been what I would call "miserable". Last year we had an abundance of plums, figs, pears and olives. I made 30 kgs of plum jam and also some fig jam (in addition to eating as much fresh figs as we could possibly stomache for about 3 months). I made canned pears and the olive trees gave us 1600 kgs of olives that we made into 220 llitres of olive oil.
I was of course hoping for the same numbers this year, but no... Mother Nature does as she pleases... So I ended up with 5 kgs of plum jam and I have eaten 2 (?!) pears. The figs did as well as last year - if not even better - so I have 30 kgs of fig jam in the freezer at the moment. Figs & apples, figs & walnuts, figs & cinnamon and figs,apples, walnuts & cinnamon. Yummie! And this will keep me going until next year, I think.
But the really big disappointment this year is that we're not getting any olive oil. Not even one litre of oil. We have 85 olive trees - and this is what they've produced this year......
Not nearly enough to make any oil. From 100 kgs you'll get 12-20 litres of oil and what we have here would probably give us 7-8 litres... But in addition to it being really embarrassing showing up at the mill with two small bags of olives they wont even consider pressing it before you have at least 200-300 kgs.
So, change of plans. I'm now going to brine the olives. So yesterday I picked out the best olives which I've put in a small container with water to cover them. Today I'm buying salt to make the brine were they will sit for 40 days. Then rinse well and put in new brine for another 10 days. And finally I can put them in a glass jar and fill up with brine and olive oil. And then we can eat as much olives as we want for the next year to come. I think I will try putting different flavouring to the olives - such as orange (peel), garlic, rosmary, oregano and chili. I'm really looking forward to trying the end result!
The reason why this year turned out like this is partly because we have been pruning the olive trees earlier this year. And some we can blame on the weather, I think. We've had lots and lots of rain this year so it's not just our harvest that turned out this way. And finally we have the "mosca" which is the tiny larva of a fly that eats into the flesh of the olive and destroys it. Before I didn't understand why people where hanging plastic bottles with some sticky liquid in it in their olive trees. Now I know. It's to attract the mosca to the bottle instead of the olives! I know what I have to do next year....
But anyway, now I just have to sit back and wait for the New Year when I can finally taste my brined olives. Can't wait!