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Follow The Olive: How to Recognise a Good Table Olive

The table olive market here in South Africa is just starting to flourish. The solid foundation will support its growth into a successful and valuable industry amongst the new olive producing countries.

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Follow The Olive: Processing Table Olives

The aim of processing table olives, whether it be in a factory or in the home, is to produce a tasty  product from a fruit which, fresh off the tree, is too bitter to be edible.

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Follow The Olive: Nocellara del Belice

This cultivar originates in Sicily and is used for natural green processing and for high quality oil extraction.

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Follow The Olive: Barouni Olives

Barouni is of North African origin, it is not widely grown in South Africa, but meets the demand for a large green “Queen”-sized olive because of its large fruit size and low oil content.

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Follow The Olive: Kalamata Olives

Kalamata has its origin in Greece. When fully ripe, black Kalamata olives are processed naturally, marketed commercially and are very popular with consumers. Kalamata olives are as ideal black table olives, with a lower oil content than Mission.

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Follow The Olive: Manzanilla Olives

Manzanilla means “little apple” and originated in Spain. It is regarded as the premium green table cultivar in the world and although popular in South Africa, it is planted on a much smaller scale than Mission, because it is mainly suited for green processing, for which the market demand is lower.

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Follow The Olive: Commercial Cultivars

The olive cultivars grown commercially throughout the world at present all originated as selections of chance seedlings, which were then increased vegetatively, some over many centuries. In the traditional olive growing countries of the world, usually the best seedlings were selected and propagated.

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Follow The Olive: Harvesting Table Olives

Table olives should be picked individually by hand and it is recommended that only olives of the required size and colour are picked. Selective harvesting reduces the work-load on the sorters and results in less fruit being rejected.

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Harvesting Olives

Harvesting is the costliest orchard operation in the growing of olives, with harvesting labour accounting for up to 40% of total costs in traditional orchards. The peak demand for labour on an olive farm is in the harvesting season.

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Follow The Olive: Water & Soil

WATER:

Although olive trees can survive dry conditions, irrigation is strongly recommended for table olive production to encourage a higher yield, regular cropping and the production of large sized fruit with a high flesh to pit ratio.

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