Olive harvesting can be done using two methods. The first and most traditional is called “milking” of the tree (ordeña) where the olives are collected by hand in a small basket tied to the waist of the harvester. This method is a softer method of harvesting in that there’s less likelihood fruit doesn’t get damaged, but this method is more difficult to do in sloped groves or in high density ones and is slower than other methods. The second way of harvesting is using mechanical methods like pneumatic or electric powered vibrating rakes that shake the tree limbs and make the fruit fall into nets placed under each tree.

In the agro-industry, some operations use tall tractor-like machines that go over each tree raking them and collecting the fruit into bins at the same time. The machines are used on farms with a lot of acreage and thousands of trees.

On the ranch we use both hand harvesting and vibrating rakes. This allows us to harvest faster but at the same time taking great care of the fruit. Once the fruit is off the trees it is milled within minutes.

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Project Details

  • Region : Poway, California
  • Location : Dos Pizotes Olive Ranch
  • Agriculture : Organic Farming