How To Harvest Olives

How To Harvest Olives In California

Olive harvesting is a time-honored tradition in California. And for good reason: the fruits of the olives tree are some of the most delicious and nutritious out there. But harvesting olives can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you’re new to the process.

 In this article, we’ll take you through the basics of how to harvest olives in California, from picking the right trees to getting the most out of your harvest. We hope this guide will help you get started on your own olive harvest and give you some valuable tips along the way.

Gather the necessary supplies

Harvesting olives in California is a simple process that can be done by anyone with some basic supplies. The first step is to find a tree that has ripe olives. Once you have located the tree, climb up and look for clusters of olives.

Use a hand-held net to catch the olives as they fall from the tree. Be sure to wear gloves and avoid touching any thorns on the tree. Once you have gathered a sufficient amount of olives, descend from the tree and place them into a container.

How to Harvest Olives

Some olive growers in California use a mechanical harvester to remove the olives from the trees. This type of machine has a series of long, sharp blades that cut the tree’s branches just below the fruit. Another method is to use a simple hand-held cutter to remove the olives from the tree into a container.

Olive picking can be tricky and requires good hand-eye coordination. The best time to pick olives is when they are still green and firm but not too hard. Olives that are allowed to ripen will become harder and may have seeds inside.

How to Store and Eat Olives

Pick olives when green, if ripe, they will turn brown.

Store olives in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.

Olives can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in a freezer for up to 6 months.

To eat olives, remove the pit by pressing down with your thumb on one end of the olive and twisting it until it pops out.

Types of Olive Harvesting

There are three types of olive harvesting in California: cold-treating, hand-picking, and machine harvesting. cold-treating is the most common type of harvest in California, where olives are placed in refrigerated facilities for a few days to slow down the ripening process.

 This reduces the amount of oil that is released from the fruit during cooking. hand-picking is the second most common type of harvest in California. Workers use knives to remove the olives from the tree branches, one at a time.

sa This method is labor-intensive and requires a lot of skill. Machine harvesting is the third most common type of harvest in California. Here, machines pull the olives off the tree using long poles and conveyor belts. This method is more efficient than hand picking and reduces labor costs overall.

Equipment and Supplies Required

Harvesting olives in California is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with a few simple supplies and equipment, you can easily get started.

The first thing you need is a harvest bucket. This will be used to collect the olives after they are picked. A good harvest bucket should have a wide mouth and a tight-fitting lid.

Next, you will need a picking tool. This can be anything from an old pair of pliers to a specialized olive picker. The picking tool should be long enough to reach all of the olives on the tree, and pointed end should help guide the olive into the bucket.

Finally, you will need some transportation options. While you can pickup your olives by hand, using a truck or tractor for this task is much easier and more efficient.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Olive harvest

-If you are harvesting your olives in the fall, start picking a few weeks before the olives turn brown.
-Make sure to use a dust mask when harvesting olives. The oils can be harmful if inhaled.
-Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.
-Pick the olives by hand with a fork or use a harvester if you have one.
-Store the olives in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.


In order to harvest olives in California, it is important to know the different types of olives that can be found and how to prepare them. The three common types of olives in California are green olives, black olives, and Picholine olives.

To pick green olives, it is best to use a hand-held sickle or an over-the-shoulder tool. To pick black olives, use a large bowl with a curved bottom. Picholine olives can only be picked by hand and must be pitted before consumption.

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