A Guide for Harvesting, Milling, Curing and Canning Olives - Harvesting olives for food and oil has been done for thousands of years. Making harvest decisions about methodology, timing, and more, are based upon a number of factors. Which cultivars are you growing? Each one has unique characteristics, such as fruit (drupe) size, pit-to-pulp ratio, oil content, color and flavor profile, as well as considerations for the type of harvest (hand or mechanical), climate conditions, etc. Use this guide as an aid in making your harvest decisions.
We harvest olive trees throughout California. Harvesting olive trees may begin as early as late August and will continue through November depending upon the region, variety and desired ripeness. They are picked for both eating and processing into oil, so the degree of ripeness is important and a factor in the timing of harvest.