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16 Jan, 2013

Olives, the local business in Corfu

For those people who don’t earn through the tourism and travel in Corfu, they turn back to their abundantly available exotic fruit – olives, they produce, harvest and press it or preserve it and then sell it off to earn their incomes. When visiting Corfu, try booking one of the hotels in Corfu that are close by to the olive groves where they further process the fruit. The whole extraction process is fascinating and one mustn’t miss such enthralling experiences. Finding a room in one of the numerous hotels in Corfu is fairly easy, be it the peak or off season.

You too can take part in the whole process of procuring olive oil, there are plenty of estates in Corfu that welcome visitors and let you be part of the process. Just remember that if you are allergic to pollen or have hay fever, take your medications beforehand and try staying in one of the hotels in Corfu that are close to the beach rather than inland as olive flowers tend to aggravate allergies. The first step to the whole process involves plucking the olives, since it is a time consuming task, the locals make nets, lay it on the ground so when the olives ripen, they fall onto the net. But before setting the net, the ground has to be cleared of brambles and weeds.

The nets are of an awkward size of ten by thirty meters, and the nets are held in place, around the trees by nails or pins, the whole grove is usually covered with the net. Through December to April the olives ripen and fall onto the net, every ten days or so, you need to visit and collect the olives else they start drying up and can’t be pressed for oil. The olives collected are then sifted through and bunched up in sacks then taken to the press for extraction or preserved in brine and sold as such. So depending on which month you decide to go for a vacation to Corfu, you can take part in the different steps of the procurement of olive oil. Or you can simply visit the press and see the extraction yourself.

You usually have a guide in these places to take you through the several steps of extraction, these sort of excursions are ideal for kids and adults alike, you come out knowing a lot about the fruit and the process involved in developing its products. The whole process is fascinating and increases your knowledge to a great extent. Corfu is known for its black olives, though there are about three hundred or so varieties of just olives themselves. Depending on the sort of variety of the olives and the place they are cultivated in olives start out green, go on to purple and then finally turn black. Also, did you know that olive groves are fruitful only once in two years? They are known to be exotic are usually found in the Mediterranean region.

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