How We Harvest

How we harvest is very important for the taste and quality of the Olive Oil.

The freshest harvest provides the finest oil

As soon as the olives are picked from the tree the race is on to collect as many as possible to send to the mill. The olives begin to slowly ferment after they are harvested and it is very important to keep them in the shade, well protected and get them to the mill within 72 hours from the start of the harvest. This ensures the highest possible quality of oil. 

To ensure the biodiversity in the olive grove we selectively strim just before we harvest

We are very proud of the rich biodiversity on our land, and to ensure that diversity remains, we only cut the plants around the olive trees just before we set the nets out to collect the juicy olives. We leave this as late as possible to give plants that set seed late in the year a chance to disperse their seeds giving a new generation of plants and providing food for a wide range of birds and insects. We are able to do this as we do not use a tractor allowing us to be very selective about what we cut and stopping the compaction of the ground. Treading lightly on the earth in these ways allows rain to soak in and builds soil which hosts a huge variety of microorganisms, insects and plants (many of them nitrogen fixing). All of this means the olive trees are nourished naturally as part of a vibrant ecosystem.

Unlike many intensive olive groves, we are cruelty free

We understand that it might seem unnecessary to describe our oil as 'cruelty free' but this is something very important to us. In many intensive olive groves the olives are harvested at night with large vacuums which literally suck the olives from the trees. This way of harvesting is fatal for the many varieties of birds that nest in the olive trees overnight such as Robins, Greenfinches, Warblers, Linnets and Wagtails. It was estimated in 2018, by the Government of Andalusia, in Andalusia alone, up to 2.6 million birds were killed because of this super intensive harvesting style. As a result of this, many of these producers cannot rightfully call their oil vegan or cruelty free. We prioritise the biodiversity of our land over profit, harvesting during the day, without machinery. 

We harvest entirely by hand using no machinery

Our olives are truly hand picked. We do not use any machinery to help us collect the olives as we believe they damage the trees more than necessary. There is nothing more beautiful and grounding than being inside the tree collecting the olives by hand with a group of friends. We only use rakes, fingers and occasionally long, specially designed sticks for those hard to reach bunches of delicious olives

We select trees with the right proportion of green or black olives for a desired flavour.

In a good year, we are able to harvest multiple times. In 2019 and were lucky enough to harvest three times. The three day time constraint for extra fresh olives forced us to be selective about which trees we harvested to create the best oil possible. To create a peppery early oil we harvested only green olives from the trees that ripened first. 

Later in the month we picked a mixture of green olives and the trees with riper, darker olives. We saved the trees that ripened last for the special farmers reserve with the juiciest fruit, the highest oil content and a unique buttery flavour.

We take our olives to a local centrifuge mill for cold extraction

We are lucky to have a centrifugal mill in one of our closest villages. This is a clean modern method compared to using a stone mill providing a much greater longevity of oil with a far superior flavour. After cold extraction in the centrifuge the oil is ready to collect within a few hours and we are able to taste the fruits of our labor.

We are so thankful for a bountiful harvest in 2019, if you are interested in joining an olive harvest in November please email us at covafullola@gmail.com

Contact us:  covafullola@gmail.com