Have an Over Producing Olive Tree or Know of One?
How to tell if there is an olive tree in your neighborhood: In the fall and winter you may have noticed purple stains on nearby cars, walks and/or streets. These have been deposited by birds that have taken great relish in feasting on ripe olives and wish to share the wealth (well, sorta). If you noticed this, drive around and look for the tree(s).
These olive trees can be harvested to make your own cured ripe or green olives. Are the olives dropping on someone's property or street? Ask the property owner if you can pick--lots of times they will be happy to let you take some fruit. To sweeten the pot, tell them you will rake and dispose of the drops or will try to drop off some finished olives.
Once you have procured some olives, the processing is not hard, but it does take some moderate labor and attention.
First download Olives: Safe Methods for Home Pickling Download it and read it thoroughly.
Pick the type of recipe for curing the olives you wish to make: green, half-ripe, fully ripe; water cured, Kalamata-style, Mediterranean-style cracked, brine-cured, Greek-style brine cured, Sicilian-style, dry salt cured, lye-cured, dark-style ripe olives, lye-cured fermented (like Spanish-style green). Yes there are a lot of different types of olives in this publication as well as out there.
Choose your preservation method--storing in brine, freezing, drying (sun drying, dehydrator drying).
Read all of the information about how you wish to make and preserve your olives again!
Get your equipment and ingredients together--Olives: Safe Methods for Home Pickling will tell you what you need.
Make your olives--and let me know how they came out!