Our new house in California came with 54 olive trees. On December 31 it was time to pick and press the olives. Since I was busy doing a monster workout day Andy took care of the logistics but I wanted to show you how it was done.
Step 1---make sure the olives are ripe. Ideally you want 25% green, 50% purple/green and 25% black. This year the ripening took longer than usual because of the rain and cooler temps.
Step 5---the olives go in a Fusti where the oil settles (also known as racking) so the sediment and vegetable matter goes to the bottom leaving you with clear oil. This can take 30-60 days.
Step 6 (optional)----our 1300 lbs. of olives gave use 18 gallons of oil. The fusti pictured in the truck was about 26 gallons. This means there was a lot of air at the top of the fusti and the oxygen could degrade the oil. So, we purchased 3 smaller fusti's and transferred the oil into those to settle. It should be ready in February. We have tried the oil and it is yummy!