This past week we finished milling our olives here at Long Meadow Ranch.
As Ted mentioned in an earlier blog posting, 2009 has been a skimpy olive harvest. Not to worry, though, as we are making a decent amount of oil. The olive oils thus far have been very rich with a powerful pungency (spicey) character, showing that we will have an excellent level of quality for 2009.
The olive harvest data have shown that all of our oil yields are down. This happens to be the case with all the olive mills in California. Essentially, what's happening is that the oil and water molecules are not breaking apart during the malaxation stage (paste warming and mixing). Therefore, when the olive paste passes through the decanter centrifuge, the separation of liquids (oil and water) from solids is difficult. This problem of extraction is most likely attributed to a high level of moisture in the olives, caused by rain just prior to harvest.
Although we are facing extraordinary challenges this harvest in terms of both quantity and yield, we remain resilient and will be able to release an excellent 2009 olive oil. Please watch for it when we release it!
Posted by Jason Moulton