Olive Season in Abruzzo

October 24, 2008 / Food & Wine
In the town of Controguerra, it is olive season. Kids, grandparents, friends … everyone is recruited to help in the effort, whether it’s a few trees on a family’s plot of land or a large scale olive oil producer. Throughout the region everyone seems to be up on a little ladder picking away surrounded by the beautiful countryside.

Step 1 – A net is placed under the olive trees in order to collect the olives and prevent them from escaping – sneaky little things. (Be sure to make a lip on the downhill end of the net by propping it up with sticks or you’ll spend more time picking olives out from the tall grass than off the tree!) Remove all olives from the tree.

Step 2- Carefully gather the net to collect all the olives. Place same inside the buckets.

Step 3- Repeat steps 1 and 2 until nightfall or until there are no more olive trees to pick!

Eventually, the buckets are placed on a tractor and are taken to the frantoio (olive mill) to be turned into olive oil … and the nets are stowed away again until next year.

by Alejandra Fabris

– Contributed by Alejandra Fabris, writer, American University of Rome Senior, Italian Notebook Editorial Intern.

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