We offer three different options for olive milling each harvest season to meet the needs of small, mid and large-scale growers. We understand that the weight of your projected crop is an estimate but our guide below will determine the best approach.
Olives should be harvested approximately 24 hours prior to your scheduled milling date.
Please bring a non-perishable food item (not in a glass container) with you to donate to our Redwood Empire Food Bank collection barrel.
By Appointment Only
Quantity: 2000+ pounds of olives
Private millings for high-volume crops estimated to weigh 2000 pounds or more can only be scheduled by submitting our milling contract. Once received, we will contact you to finalize a mutually agreeable date.
By Appointment Only
Quantity: 500–2000 pounds of olives
Individual private batches for crops estimated to weigh 500–2000 pounds will be milled on specific days for pre-registered customers. Fruit must be delivered to McEvoy Ranch between 7–8am on your scheduled mill date; alternate times must be pre-arranged. Schedule by completing our milling contract; space is limited.
Date: Sunday Nov 6th, 2016
Time: Drop off 8–10:30 am
Quantity: 1–499 pounds of olives
Our Community Milling days are an opportunity for small growers to combine their olives to create a truly local blend. We mill Tuscan fruit in one batch and all other fruit in another; the amount of olive oil you receive is commensurate to the number of pounds you contribute (no amount is too small!). Pre-registration is required. Please note—severe storms may result in postponement.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
Do you have everything you need for harvest?
Picker pails with harnesses ($35), 40 lb lugs ($25) and rakes ($4.50) are available for sale at McEvoy Ranch. We will also have available ½ ton bins, 40 lb lugs and picker pails for rent. To make an appointment to purchase these items before harvest please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707.778.0128.
Click here to order harvest equipment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED MILLING QUESTIONS
HOW DO I ESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF POUNDS MY CROP MAY PRODUCE?
Take photos of your cropped trees and take notes each year that you can refer to for subsequent harvests. A 5-gallon bucket holds about 25lbs of fruit.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE TUSCAN OR NON-TUSCAN OLIVES?
If you do not know the variety of your olive tree, we will include your fruit in the non-Tuscan blend if you join us for community milling. We may be able to help you identify your olive tree when you come to mill your fruit, but the surest way to determine the cultivar is through DNA testing. Agbiolab is our only local lab that conducts this type of work.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY FRUIT IS READY TO PICK?
To pick for oil production, wait until the olives soften somewhat. Color can help guide your decision but the fruit’s softness is more indicative of oil accumulation. If you can squish an olive between your fingers easily and the juice feels oily (not just watery), then it is ready to pick. In general, fruit that is more red or purple (more ripe) will produce less pungent oil, fruit that is less red (more green, less ripe) will taste more pungent. See the UC Davis Maturity Index for more information on color development.
HOW CAN I DETERMINE IF I HAVE DAMAGED FRUIT (FROST, FRUIT FLY)?
Fruit that is healthy will be green, red or purple. Brown skin or flesh indicates decay. Olives can sustain some frost and will simply shrivel a little. As long as the flesh is fresh and not brown, the fruit is acceptable to mill. We do not mill olives that are badly frost-damaged. If your fruit is deteriorating due to frost damage, it is not suitable for high-quality oil production. You may bring your olives on Community Mill Day for evaluation.
The female olive fruit fly lays her eggs in the fruit, leaving the larvae to eat its way out of the olive. The tunneled fruit deteriorates quickly, leaving oxidized oil and rotten flesh. See these two articles by Paul Vossen at the Sonoma County Extension Office for more information and pictures on the Olive Fruit Fly.
HOW MUCH OIL SHOULD I EXPECT MY FRUIT TO YIELD? WHAT MIGHT THE FLAVOR AND LOOK OF IT BE?
Olive oil yield varies according to variety and fruit ripeness. In general, expect an average of 80lbs to yield one gallon for a typical variety picked in late November.
Any fresh oil will taste pungent, including the oil from the Community Milling Days. Olio Nuovo (New Oil) will taste its strongest right off the mill. As the oil ages, the flavor will mellow. If you prefer a milder tasting oil, you can pick later and let your oil rest for a few months, allowing the flavor to soften.
New oil will be very green and cloudy with sediment. Oil that is not consumed immediately (within two months) can be racked to remove the solids. The solids are not harmful but can make the oil less stable. To rack your oil, let it sit undisturbed for a month and then pour the clear oil off the top. Use the oil with sediment from the bottom first. The clearer oil will keep longer.
DO YOU HAVE INFORMATION ON WHERE I CAN BUY OR SELL OLIVES?
The Olive Oil Source has an online forum for olive fruit transactions.