A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

The party’s over…


… it’s time to call it a day…la la la

OK, so I tend towards hysteria at the end of a long spell of olive picking, but who can blame me? It’s hard work, it’s tiring, I hurt…everywhere!

But over it is. The local pundits say that you tend to have a good year (i.e. loads of olives) followed by a mediocre year, and this was one of our good years. So this year, the olives were superbly healthy, the trees were full, and the weather was wonderful. A truly great harvest, but 800+ trees later, we’ve had enough!

We took advantage of the great weather to put together some footage of the process, for those of you who may never have even seen an olive tree! But first, to answer some FAQ’s from my readers:

Do you have to sort the ripe olives from the green ones? No, they all go in the press together.

Isn’t the oil made just from the green olives? No. It depends on what type of olive oil you like. For example the Greeks like a sharp, green olive oil, so they pick their olives when they are fairly green. In Spain, the taste is for a bit softer oil, so usually there is a good mix of green and black.

How do you know when they are just the right ripeness to be able to be shaken from the tree? We always pick at the same time of year. The olives ripen at a pretty consistent rate, so you know roughly when they will be ready to pick. Here, from Dec – end of February is the season, and that is also when the press is open!

How long does the whole process take per tree? Depends on the tree, the terrain, and how many olives are on the tree. This year, a good tree might take 20 minutes each to shake, as you have to shake each branch. Also, some varieties of olives fall from the tree more easily than others!

How many trees do you have? About 850.

Do you do the process several times for the various lengths of ripening?  Nope. We pick until we have enough to press.

And now, the video…

Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

2 thoughts on “The party’s over…

  1. I have greatly enjoyed your blog over this last year. As a way of saying thanks I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Hope you will accept. For more info you can see my blog :”versatility”. Thanks again!


    • Thanks so much for the kind words! I read more info on the award on your blog – presumably I don’t have to do anything to accept? Because yes, I’d be delighted to accept! Take care, and keep reading and posting!