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Time is TBD

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Location is TBD

Olive Harvest in Erimi

You're invited to join our volunteer group for a day of harvesting

Registration is closed
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Olive Harvest in Erimi
Olive Harvest in Erimi

Time & Location

Time is TBD

Location is TBD

About the Event

Known as ‘liquid gold’, olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Gathering the olives is part of our traditional Cyprus way of life and you can join in the experience – and learn all about olives - by volunteering to help at the harvest.

Donna is one of our CIWOT Members and her elderly parents need assistance with their olives at their grove in Erimi. We will harvest  after a rainfall (since the rain helps wash dust off the olives). Since we do not yet know when this rainfall will be, please simply register your interest for now.  Please sign up on the website as a potential volunteer or contact our Personal Growth Coordinator, Christine Keeble Watson at christine.keeble@gmail.com. 

She will contact you when we know the date for sure and see if you are available. To thank you for your efforts – there will be free bottles of olive oil for the helpers and a lovely picnic in the olive grove. We can exchange stories while we work and enjoy a golden slice of Cyprus life!

More about the harvest - Donna writes:

At the end of the season, the black (mature) and small green olives are pressed for oil, whilst the early larger green olives are preserved in a popular delicacy called ‘tsakkistes’, which means ‘crushed’. Once they are picked, the green olives are washed, cracked using a stone and soaked in brine. They are served with coriander seeds, garlic, olive oil and lemon.

It’s quite demanding work to harvest them - as the branches intertwine with each other and the reflection of the sun makes them harder to see. There is first the ground work, clearing all obstacles and laying down sheets or special nets to catch all the olives. Then with a plastic hand rake we start from as far back on the branch and pull towards your body in a downward motion so they fall to the floor, but we have to be careful not to step on them too. We have 30 trees on my father’s land: we normally manage to clean 2-3 per day.  We have fun by telling stories about each other to pass the time or put music on to make us go faster!!

We start around 9.30 and have water and drink breaks as it’s still warm. We lunch around 2pm (normally take away from the local kitchens) and start rounding up around 4.30. Once the olives are in the boxes or bins we clean them by taking out branches and leaves. My mum used to sieve them through to make them extra clean but nowadays, with modern technology, the olive mill pressers do this for us. We normally yield between 3-5 litres per tree so that’s between 90 to 150 litres a year we manage to produce. It’s normally sold 4 litres for 20 euros but this year (I think due to the pressing costs increase) it will be 25 euros for 4 litres. That’s 6.25 a litre whilst in the supermarkets its 5-7 euros for half a litre. We will offer free bottles of oils for the helpers and free drinks and food. Although it takes about a week or more to gather all the olives and get them done - so the bottles will be given out later.

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