Last week my gorgeous old friend Winnie came down to the grove for a girl's overnight. She had wanted to help with a pick and press, but we suffered time constraints, so only did some bottling and gardening at the blue house. The bottling was a great help. We have a couple of hundred litres of Arbequina - a delicate spanish variety, which urgently needs to be in bottles. It isn't a good keeper - it is low in polyphenols, which makes it soft and palatable, but not long lasting. It was fun labelling and sticking and capping together. And the gardening at the blue house was good too. We planted potatoes, broad beans, beetroot and spinach. I am not sure how well we will do, as we have a squillion birds (maggies, crows, silvereyes, galahs, 28 parrots) which will delight in destroying anything that sticks its head above the ground. But the anticipation is good!
And today, Thursday 26th July, I am back from a successful pick and press couple of days. Tania the energetic got up early and had picked nearly 100 kilos of Mission before I got to the grove yesterday at 9 am. We stopped at 123 kgs, which wasn't very many trees. I am keen to get some Mission before too late. The fruit we have picked to date is very mild and I would like something with a bit more kick for contrast or perhaps for blending. I am wondering if we will enter in the Royal Show competition this year. You need to present an oil that is better than average, well balanced in all aspects - fruitiness, bitterness and pepperyness. My Arbequina and Koroneiki are sweet and gentle and need a bit of 'tiger' in them. Entries close soon, so I will need to make some quick decisions. I got over 22% yield today, and the oil was tasty.
On a very cheerful note, daughter Meredith's new shop has sold a lot of our oil in the last couple of weeks - go Meredith!