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Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil - "Epano Kouremenos"
11 December 2014
A day in the live of an olive ....
 
Olive 14-01 - the olives are harvested in December and nylon close-mesh nets
spread on the ground around the trees to catch the olives.  A small petrol generator
provides the power for several of the electric olive harvesting tools. These are long
poles with an electric motor at one end and a rotating barrel with plastic tags on the
end which dislodge the olives whilst leaving the branches and most of the leaves intact.
The leaves that do fall are raked off as much as possible on the nets, then the olives
and a few remaining leaves are put into hessian sacks. 
Our friend Petros, busy picking :
 
 
Olive 14-02 - The sacks of olives are loaded onto
a pickup truck and taken to the
 olive press in the village.  This is another reason
that our Extra Virgin Olive oil is
 such good quality, in that the olives travel only 2km
and are processed within a
few hours after picking.
 
Olive 14-03 - The olive press can unload 4 pickup trucks simultaneously.
Olive 14-04 - The truck is reversed in for unloading and the sacks of olives are
emptied into the hopper which feeds a conveyor belt.
 
 
Olive 14-05 - The olives make their way up the conveyor 
 
Olive 14-06 - There is a powerful fan at the top of the conveyor which sucks up
the leaves. The olives are shaken in a tray and the remaining leaves are drawn
up into a second stage fan and blown down the red pipes.
 
Olive 14-07 - The olives minus leaves travel up another conveyor from where they
drop into a small hopper which weighs the olives in batches before dropping them into
the main collecting hoppers. The weight is shown on a red digital display (see above)
 
Olive 14-08 - The olive press is built on a hillside, so the olives travel downhill from
the main collecting hoppers into the washing process where they are cleaned with
fresh running water.
 
Olive 14-09 - There are 3 modern olive presses which mechanically press the olives
They are cold-pressed, another factor which is essential for Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 
Olive 14-10 - The pressed olives can be seen at the end of the mechanical press.
 
Olive 14-11 - A pair of huge centrifuges are used to separate the extra virgin olive oil
from water and impurities.
 
Olive 14-12 - The pure olive oil runs off into the huge storage tanks where the oil
is allowed to settle.  When we collect it in our bulk containers, the oil is fairly clear
and we allow further settling in the containers before it is transferred into the tins.
This is much better than filtering and the final product is totally clear and a rich
golden/green colour.
 
Olive 14-13 - While the olives travel up the conveyor, samples are automatically
collected. This is then crushed and analysed on-site in the laboratory to determine
the percentage
of oil in the olives. We achieved an excellent result of 31.87% which
means that
3.14 kg of olives will yield 1 kg of oil.  This is about as good as it gets !
 
Many thanks to Petros and family for picking the olives !
Also, many thanks to the workers at the olive press.
There is a huge amount of work and all the people here have been working non-stop
7 days a week to bring in the harvest in the area.  We are VERY impressed with the
amazing efficiency, tidiness and cleanliness at the olive press facility !