NEWS: Olive picking in Provence

1 December 2008



We escaped the city this past weekend for a little sun & olive picking. Despite a very trying train journey… apparently booking a ticket does not automatically include a seat…. and the fact that it poured rain all of Saturday (hail was an added bonus!), we still managed to get in some quality olive picking.

sp-olive-tree sp-green-olives

After the grape harvest comes the olive season in Provence. I am always astonished by how abundant the trees are and the wide variety of olive colours… from a pale to rich green, aubergine, burgundy, black and ochre – sometimes all on the same tree!

sp-aubergine-olives sp-mixed-olives  

Olive picking season: October to December (depending on the type & use of the olives)

There are more than 100 types of olives however in France one of the most popular and those that grow in our grove are picholine olives. We were a little late in the picking season this year, so many of them had shrivelled like raisons & were lighter in weight as their water had evaporated. This apparently will give us a smaller quantity of olive oil, but with a richer consistency & stronger taste.

Now the decision is weather to send them to the cooperative where they are pressed with other people’s olives, giving you a % of oil based on the number of kilos you picked. Or we may decide to use a local press, who will make the oil with only our olives – the output is smaller but in my opinion the quality is better!



7 Responses to “NEWS: Olive picking in Provence”

  1. Marjorie Says:

    So lovely to share the picking time with both of you – very special meditative moments in the sun…………..aren’t we lucky! You really captured the olives with your incredible pictures as well. We will definitely plan to pick earlier next year to have longer days of sunshine. M x

  2. Marjorie : Olive oil… cannot wait to taste the new batch. We had such a great time picking with you, only wished we could have stayed longer 🙂

  3. Laura Says:

    I loved your pictures of the olives, you must have had such fun – unfortunately we have not escaped the rain either… I will let you know how the cooking course goes this weekend, but it is definitely for the sweet tooth, making xmas bits!

  4. Laura: hi, was nice to wake up to your message! The olive picking is great – you cannot imagine how many can be on 1 tree! Looking forward to hearing how your Christmas cooking course goes! xxx

  5. Giselle Says:

    Need help for next year’s picking??????
    Your pics are fantastic, Erika, as always!

    • Giselle :
      Hi, yes of course – we wished that the 2 of you (+ Zana) had been there to pick the olives with us. We will reserve you a basket for next year. Does this means you have plans to return????

  6. Oh how fun, although I do know it’s also hard work…great photos!

    And happy holidays to you and yours, bella 🙂

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