Thursday, 26 April 2012

First Press for 2012

The family came down for a night to stay in the blue house and do a bit of picking.  It was really to iron out any problems before the pick and press season starts in earnest. They picked nearly 80 kilos of Mission, mostly ripe to very ripe, with about 20 kilos of green ones. We discovered that the 12 volt 'tickler' harvester is eager to shed its little carbon fibre arms - so that is a job to do - I believe a bit of judicious hacksawing, a wall plug, a screw, and some Araldite (you know she is the greek goddess of adhesives...) will get all the arms firmly back on.  I'll do that on Monday, after a visit to Bunnings.  And then when I ran the press I had the old problem of the hammer mill jamming.  It can't cope with too much fruit going in at once.  Horrendous noises arose from the hammer mill.  I took it apart and put it back together, and it quietened down.  I think at the end of last season I can't have reassembled it properly.  The press still ran too hot for my liking, but having been reassured by Tony the technician, I tried to ignore it, and put a fan to blow underneath the mixing bowl.  We ended up with about 11.5 litres of very green oil, strong and peppery.  It took over 3 hours to process 80 kilos of fruit, which is terribly slow, and then the next day clean up took me 1 1/2 hours.  If you think that 4 adults harvesting for 3 hours, and 4 1/2 hours work for me produced maybe $345 worth of olive oil (which still needs bottling and labelling), you might start to think this is a mugs game!

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