It was the perfect weather for a Table Olive Workshop on Tuesday 24 Apr 2018 – it was raining and therefore no one could harvest olives and had no excuse to miss the workshop! Five very knowledgeable speakers shared their decades of table olive experience with an audience of fifteen knowledge hungry participants at Cascade Country Manor, close to Paarl. Topics discussed by Linda Costa from Olives in Fact included harvesting table olives, processing methods, storage, pitfalls and health benefits. Thanks to Linda all was made aware of the benefits of fermentation coupled with the nutrients locked into olives. Carlo Costa from ARC Infruitec- Nietvoorbij gave all a glimpse into the future regarding research being conducted on cultivars adapted to our local conditions and a more environmentally friendly treatment process. And after all had the privilege of tasting olives prepared by Carlo, no one doubts that the future sketched by him can become a reality. Schalk Smit from Buffet Olives and Barry Hanna from The Olive Specialists, teamed up to discuss processing machinery suited to all kinds of needs.
Their take-home message was that planning is everything and that you don’t need to be a large scale plant to be successful. Mare Groenewald and Barry also shared very interesting packaging options to suit any kind of olive you can think of. After a busy morning all could replenish their strength with a hearty meal served on a patio with the most amazing view of the Klein Drakenstein valley (and some olive orchards). What more can you ask for?
Devon Valley Olive Tree Nursery is thanked for their sponsorship of this event.