About The Olive tree

 

 Olives have been cultivated for thousands of years. Indeed, they are the oldest cultivated trees in existance and one of the most important fruit trees in history. The first documented plantings of olive trees may have occurred on the island of Crete and are believed to have been growing around 3500BC.   

 

The olive tree and its fruit offered wealth and future food supplies to early civilisations by providing shade, food, oil, wood, light, warmth and medicinal benefits. Dependable fruit production and olive oil production means that olive trees must exist in a stable society and peaceful environment. That stability must extend for many years, as it takes eight or more years for olive trees to reach maturity and produce reliable quantities of fruit.

 

We often wonder how it was discovered that such a bitter fruit as the olive could become edible. As with many things, this was discovered by chance. In ancient times trade between countries occured when people crossed the ocean in boats. Because these boats were small, and the people loaded their boats as full as possible for the trip, the olives that were taken for trade were placed into hessan bags and tied to the outside of the boats, allowing them to hang into the salty sea water. After several weeks at sea and by the time they arrived at their destination it was discovered that the olives had lost their bitterness and were edible. 

 

Old olive crush. Olives are placed into the wooden hopper and drop down onto the round stone platform. The large stone wheel is then pulled around by the wooden pole above, usually by a donkey. This crushes the olives into a olive paste. This paste is then scooped up and placed into the olive press.

This is a olive press. After the olives are crushed by the olive crush they are then placed into the olive press inbetween felt matt layers. The jucie is then squeezed out of the olive paste by screwing down on the large screw, this applies pressure and the juice is collected into a bucket where it is allowed to seperate from the water.