The Olives in Ieranto Bay

For this last week of September 2017, the olives season arrived in Ieranto bay. On Monday, FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) started their work and invited us Wednesday to harvest the mature olives* from the trees in their garden with them.

* from the yellow color – the purple color, to the shiny beautiful black olive

Arrived in Ieranto bay, we saw the workers and volunteers of FAI from different part of Italy (from Milan, Bologne, Genova…) already in action with the fruit of the olive trees. We were impressed by the work they doing.

It was the first time we see for real the traditional italian olives harvesting, therefore we were really excited to do it. We joined them, we sat down on the harvest nets and then started.


First they cut branches for us so that we can have access to it.

Two used the electric rake to facilitate picking. I tried it : you have to hold hardly and put the tool in the branches to make the olives fall ;)

After we took one branch and with our hands we removed the fruits of the olive tree on them. Gradually we could see the nets covered with greens and black olives.


Now midday, it was time to eat. “Il Salvatore” kindly prepared us during this time, pasta with… olive oil, garlic and parsley. It was good! We ate all together under his pleasant veranda with beautiful view of Ieranto (and the boats in the distance), drinking good wine.

Come on! Come the time to continue what we started: take the olives in hand.

We used different techniques : with hands (manuel) or a rake (tool). My favorite technique is once and for all with the hands. For me it’s more natural and I like to be directly in contact with the nature.  Nature has the power to purify you, to re-energize yourself, to regenerate you! What better than being in the middle of the roots of the Mediterranean.





The manager of the gardens of the FAI, Umberto is even present! He told me about a flower that he appreciates very much: rose of bourbon imported by Bonaparte, on Reunion island.


All the olives recovered, we gather the net to bring the olives together and put them in a bag of burlap.


The last step for us is to carry the olive-filled bags to the platform, where a boat has come specially to collect them in order to transport them to the mill to produce them in olive oil or other.

A request comes to me : for the harvest, why wait until the olive is ripe?

A ripe olive will give a softer, more abundant oil that will keep for a shorter time. A green olive will give a more fruity and more typical oil, which will keep better but will be less abundant.

* Do you know that ? The olive tree has been cultivated for at least 3,500 years before our era, and that we can use its leaves to disinfect skin wounds and can bring down blood pressure slightly !

Thank you for this great and funny day FAI and volunteers !

BONUS – My last day in Ieranto