Olive Harvest on Korčula about to Start

Total Croatia News

Like with so many other things, it was different in the past. 

Olives were let to ripen fully (or even go one step further, towards over-ripening) on the trees, and were seldom picked before the All Saints Day. There’s even an old saying used in Dalmatia that says that once the All Saints have come and gone, it’s time to take the ladder out to go olive harvesting. Not that you really needed the ladder, because by early November, most olives would’ve already fallen from the tree and started the process of decomposing on the soil.

After being collected, which was not a day or two of work, rather it took days for all of the olives to be collected and ready for the mill, olives were often put in the seawater to “preserve” them. Nowadays we know that it was probably a bad idea to do that, but to be completely honest – just about every single step in the way things were done around olives has been changed today, in order to produce olive oil of higher quality.

Today we know that olives need to be picked much sooner than early November, depending on the year it’s probably going to happen in late September or early October. There are complicated empirical equations, which help people decide when the right time to do the harvest is (of course, you need to combine them with the weather forecast, as olive harvesting is not something that is done during rain), we know that the olive oil tastes best if olives are not allowed to touch soil at all, let alone rest on it for days, we’ve completely given up on submerging them in seawater, and overall the technology of olive oil production is greatly improved – and with it, of course, the quality of olive oil is as well.

Olive oils of Korčula have been known for their quality for centuries, especially oils made from the indigenous variety called Lastovka (it’s actually indigenous to Korčula, not Lastovo, and it’s not present on Lastovo at all).

And, if you want to experience the Korčula olive harvest, there are numerous options available for you, but allow us to invite you to join Lešić Dimitri Palace Olive Harvest Experience. Almost a full-day trip, which will make you an Islander for one day, will take you to the olive groves near Korčula, you will participate in the process of harvesting yourself, a lunch will be served in the grove, between the olive trees, then you will be taken to a mill where you will get the chance to see how the oil actually gets extracted from the olives. You will hear how things were done in the past and how they’ve changed, and in the end, when all is done, you will get the chance to take some of the freshly-made olive oil you actually helped pick several hours before home with you!

For more information and booking, please visit Lešić Dimitri Palace.


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