February 2017

Olive Harvest 2017 will be at the end of April we hope.  Everything depends on the weather!


Lots of olive flowers this year so the fruit set has been good and we're excited again as harvest approaches.

July 2016

Great day with Hunter Olive Association members getting together to talk about our collective olive of the olive tree!

May 2016

2016 Olive Oil deliveries full steam ahead.
Fresh & Unfiltered sold out, now we're into the longer life settled & filtered.

Fresh Olive oil  and baked pumpkin = two great Autumn foods.

April 2016 - Harvest on schedule

 

 

The sun's shining down on us as we pluck the fruit from the trees.
The one thing olive harvest isn't is quiet. The shaker is very noisy.

March 2016 - 25 sleeps until harvest...

Fresh Olive Oil - REAL & CLOUDY - Fresh Off the Press.

Beyond ordinary Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Click here for more info.

What a gorgeous site the olive grove is this year. 
Lots of olives dangling on the trees. 
There’s also thousands of spiders, Orbs and small ones throughout. This seems to encourage the small birds that love all the bugs. So it’s not just a pretty site, it’s also a symphony.

May 2015

It’s been a long time between olive oil sips here, but we’ve managed to have a small harvest this year.

And then into the post to the very lucky customers,  on our Fresh Olive Oil list.

Sorry we just didn't have enough this year to be making a racket, just an email to those on one of Roger's various special lists....
To be on the Fresh Olive Oil list please let us know your details on the form to the right......

Nothing like fresh olive oil to turn everything in the kitchen into a masterpiece…..

My favourite at this time of year is Ribollita, see recipe below. 

Every legume, soup, serve of scrambled eggs simply tastes better with a glug of olive oil on it.

And yes, don’t forget to rub it into your skin too!

Oh how we love fresh olive oil!

Ribollita

old olive oil jug

I learnt to love this soup when I spent 5 months in Arezzo learning about olives. Once pressing began, every café in town started serving their version of this soup. So I’ve always associated it with olive harvest. My friend Fiorenza showed me how she makes it, emphasising that one never puts summer vegetables in it.  Forget tomato, basil, zucchini, and eggplant.  This soup launches the start of a new season.  

 

1 leek or large onion, 2 carrots, a stick of celery.

Chop leek, onion, carrots and celery up and sauté in olive oil. Pieces of prosciutto are also good to add if you like.

Have ready 4 cups of cooked cannellini beans.

Gather a generous bunch Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale).  Chop it up so you have the equivalent of 4 packed cupfuls.

Add the cavolo nero to the sauté veges, toss around, add a litre of meat stock and let it simmer.  Cavolo Nero takes longer to cook than regular cabbage.  Adjust the stock etc according to your volume of ingredients. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Simmer away gently for an hour, add the beans and then add three cups of cubed stale bread.

If you’ve been to Tuscany you’ll know that their traditional bread is made with no salt and is verging on being tasteless.  Perfect for this soup!  So please use a good quality bread.  I freeze leftover bread, or make breadcrumbs, so I always have a stash on hand.

The end result is like peasant stodge.   This is thick soup! Dark green from the cavolo nero, contrasting with the white beans and bread. 

But the key to it all is fresh olive oil.

I leave a jug of oil on the table so everyone can pour generous amounts over their own serving. 

The final addition can be a sprinkling of coarsely grated parmesan to top it off. I find it’s enough perfect without the cheese.

I guess this food isn’t for the sedatory person, but after a physical day on the farm it can’t be beat.

Enjoy.

 

October 2014

It’s been disappointing not having an olive harvest this year, but we’re very excited with all the buds across the grove this October. In anticipation of a 2015 crop! ……

Found this old photo of Aurora and I tending to our newly planted olive grove. Who would have thought that years later the dryness and the heat would play such havoc. No olive oil this year makes me want to cry!

The good oil - The Mediterranean Diet with more vegetables, less meat.

In a 50 year long seven country study on the health of countries that surround the Mediterranean sea, it was found that men, particularly those on the island of Crete, were still active ploughing the fields or involved in community activities in their 80's 90's or even 100. They also had the lowest incidence of high blood pressure and heart disease, compared to American men. 

That study became the basis for what is now known as the Mediterranean Diet, rich in plants, whole grains, olive oil with moderate amounts of meat, fish, eggs and wine. 

Since then, continuing research links this diet to lower rates of diabetes, protecting against certain cancers, bowel disorders, brain and heart health, despite the consumption of quite a large amount of fat.

Dr Mary Flynn, an author and research dietician at Miriam Hospital at Brown University in Rhode Island has studied the effects of a diet based on olive oil and created her own version of the Mediterranean diet.

ABC RN First Bite Broadcast Saturday 14 June 2014 9:31AM full episode.

Download the podcast here

Read "Formidable Fat: The Plant based Olive Oil diet" here

 

May 2014

The olive trees have been so beautiful this season despite the lack of crop. Fingers crossed for next year.

November 2013

Just a quick  note,  olives are on the trees  but we're 5 months away until harvest and plenty can happen between now and then  as the last 2 years have demonstrated.

Fingers crossed for Fresh olive oil in May 2014.

We're all garlic mad here in the mean time

Every season creates a slightly different olive oil. It's the same with our honey, beef and garlic.

Our job as farmers is to make sure the soil is well looked after to support the crops during all the different and often difficult climate variations. 

I'm on my very last drops of the Olive oil right now - it has a loaves and fishes feel about it as each time I tip the bottle up I think this must be the last little bit.....but it keeps on coming :-)  will wait as long as it takes. The olive oil is magnificent Margrett

Waiting, waiting. It's the BEST I've tried and my 'gourmet' friends agree

Obviously, it's out of your hands and it's all up to the weather, so I understand completely but, I do miss your oil as there is nothing else like it

I absolutely love the olive oil and am very disappointed there is none this year. I look forward to next season.

September 2012 - National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards

The 2012 National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards were judged in Melbourne in September. 

It was a great opportunity to taste all the different olive oils being produced across the nation

Again, Richard Gawel lead the panels through the process  - he’s been helping the industry set up tasting panels that meet international standards.

The Olive Industry owes him a lot!

July 2011 Packing the boxes

Leo from Korea, Roger and his daughter Molly 11, made quick work of the job of packing.

Graeme took a break from weeding the garlic, he still seemed to land  back taxing work.

All those purple dots - future ventilation holes for when we plan to include garlic this Christmas - a creative part of Molly’s day.

"Patrice. It arrived, and it certainly has grunt.  We woke a few neighbours with it over the weekend". Helen & Phil

Patrice Newell's olive oil biscotti

  • 240 g spelt or other wheat flour
  • 165 g castor sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon or lime

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add oil, egg and lemon rind and juice, and stir with a spoon until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured bench, then use a floured knife to cut it in half.

Quickly mould dough halves into two long logs; it shouldn't be handled too much as this affects the texture. Bake logs on a baking tray lined with baking paper for 20 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes or until you can handle it easily. Using a serrated knife, cut slices from the loaf, on an angle, to the size you want, then place slices flat on the baking tray and return to oven for another 10–15 minutes or until golden. You can bake them on both sides, but I usually don’t as this makes the biscuits very hard and I want to keep my teeth!

Makes approximately 20 Biscotti

Our Olive Oil is processed at Lakelands.  Here’s Phillip with owner Knut on the day our olives are being processed. It’s a day of smiles all round.

What to do with Fresh Olive Oil?

Well, here’s what I’ve been doing.

I splash it all over Ribolitta

I splash it all over Jerusalem artichokes 

We made German style potato salad.
Kipflers were steamed, cooled, then peeled and sliced length ways. Salt and pepper added.
Sliced gherkins and red onions. Then tossed the lot in one part apple cider vinegar and three parts fresh olive oil.  

I  love olive oil served with my scrambled eggs.  I know -  you may think it odd, but it really is a great combination.

Ribollita

I learnt to love this soup when I spent 5 months in Arezzo learning about olives. Once pressing began, every café in town started serving their version of this soup. So I’ve always associated it with olive harvest. My friend Fiorenza showed me how she makes it, emphasising that one never puts summer vegetables in it.  Forget tomato, basil, zucchini, and eggplant.  This soup launches the start of a new season.  

 

1 leek or large onion, 2 carrots, a stick of celery.

Chop leek, onion, carrots and celery up and sauté in olive oil. Pieces of prosciutto are also good to add if you like.

Have ready 4 cups of cooked cannellini beans.

Gather a generous bunch Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale).  Chop it up so you have the equivalent of 4 packed cupfuls.

Add the cavolo nero to the sauté veges, toss around, add a litre of meat stock and let it simmer.  Cavolo Nero takes longer to cook than regular cabbage.  Adjust the stock etc according to your volume of ingredients. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Simmer away gently for an hour, add the beans and then add three cups of cubed stale bread.

If you’ve been to Tuscany you’ll know that their traditional bread is made with no salt and is verging on being tasteless.  Perfect for this soup!  So please use a good quality bread.  I freeze leftover bread, or make breadcrumbs, so I always have a stash on hand.

The end result is like peasant stodge.   This is thick soup! Dark green from the cavolo nero, contrasting with the white beans and bread. 

But the key to it all is fresh olive oil.

I leave a jug of oil on the table so everyone can pour generous amounts over their own serving. 

The final addition can be a sprinkling of coarsely grated parmesan to top it off. I find it’s enough perfect without the cheese.

I guess this food isn’t for the sedatory person, but after a physical day on the farm it can’t be beat.

Enjoy.

 

Here's me back in 2003
- before I turned grey - with the very first bottles of Virgo Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
A proud day.

Elmswood Grove is home to many contented Double Bar Finches, Pigeons and other families of birds.

A Letter From Roger Sternhell

Use Virgo Olive Oil to look Slick

Roger the Fruiterer here.
Now I know late last year I went on and on about the Garlic being the greatest achievement on Elmswood. But on taking a closer look at what goes into Patrice’s Olive Oil I am very impressed and excited.

To understand and create a perfect Olive Oil takes a lot of knowledge and dedication. Unfortunately the flamboyant investment bankers machine of the 80’s distracted Australian society's attention.

Despite the history of olives going back to - some say - 8000 BC, these analysts and consultants simply couldn't work it out and got their sums wrong. Disappointing profit results for all. Producing a quality Olive Oil is risky hard work and, as just about any Olive grower will say, it is not to be done for the sake of mere money alone.

Growing olives is a story on its own, but the production of the oil is fascinating reading itself. Patrice's book Tree to Table reveals what all the fuss is all about.

And the proof is in the tasting, you really can tell. I guarantee you will be impressed, delighted with your purchase.

So please immerse yourself in Patrice’s remarkable Olive Oil and its story. Enjoy the experience.

Regards, Roger